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Deirdre McCourt
Jeremy Jed Hammel

 Deirdre McCourt Shines in "Maude"  
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It's probably not a huge surprise that I'm a fan of Jeremy Jed Hammel's work, which just so happens to include The Legacy, one of the first films selected for the Tenderness Film Project and a film on which Hammel served as producer. This time around, Hammel is serving as writer, director and editor for the delightfully entertaining short film Maude starring stage actress Deirdre McCourt as a young woman who enters her basement and seemingly enters her own little world while dancing to the music of her favorite band, Film School.

Everything about Maude works, but it really soars on the strength of McCourt's joy-filled and wonderfully free-spirited performance as we begin to watch her become surrounded by a world that may or may not actually be there.

But does it really matter?

The film's music is upbeat and catchy, the photography warm and richly human while the short film's central message of "Be yourself!' comes across loud and clear. Three songs from the Film School album "Fission" are featured in the film, and the album's inspiration on Hammel is made evident by his ability to capture sounds and images that bring the music to life simply yet effectively.

To try to explain the film too fully is pointless - Maude is about the music, the joy, the fun and the life to be found in the music of Film School and in the warm and beautiful performance of Deirdre McCourt.

Sometimes, that's really enough.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic
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    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 - By the end of the year 2021, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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