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The Independent Critic

Francesca Tebbutt, Chloe Warren, Kemar Downey, Taryn Kay, Dominic Graville
Gideon Blackman
Carlo Saccenti
14 Mins.

 "Memorial" is the Latest Short Film From Gideon Blackman 
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Influenced by Charles Dickens, Gideon Blackman's Memorial centers around Alexandra (Francesca Tebbutt), a young writer who is struggling for ideas when she semi-stumbles across Jennifer (Chloe Warren), an intriguing young woman with an obvious story but who's not particular eager to share it. It's not long before the truth is revealed, that Jennifer is a runaway, and the truth begins to serve as an inspiration for Alexandra. Soon, however, Alexandra's efforts to maximize her creative inspiration causes more than a little trouble and the ending result is tragic.

Written by Carlo Saccenti and directed by Gideon Blackman, Memorial is an intelligent and thought-provoking short film that doesn't quite always gel but when it does it shows definite growth from Blackman's first two short films, Until Death Do Us Part and It's No Game, though I still have to give a slight nod to It's No Game as my favorite Blackman short to date.

Working within the confines of a 14-minute short film, Memorial certainly doesn't waste any time and there's certainly no extraneous filler to be found in the film. The film wears its Dickens influence well, watch it closely, and Blackman's ensemble cast seems to really understand what he's going for with the film.

Francesca Tebbutt does a nice job as Alexandra, a young woman whose slightly self-centered nature never dominates and whose inspiration feels genuine if just a tad rushed. Chloe Warren, who has worked with Blackman before, is the film's highlight as Jennifer. Warren seems to instinctively understand that pouring too much out would be lacking in authenticity and would overwhelm the short film, but she nicely embodies Jennifer as an obviously wounded yet achingly vulnerable young woman with just the right amount of edginess. Kemar Downey also does a nice job in a brief appearance as Jennifer's friend and confidante.

Production values are on part with what you'd expect from a low-budget indie short, though D.P. Joseph Loughrell does do some interesting camera work that adds an emotional and physical uneasiness to the film.

Memorial has only recently been finished and should have no problem finding a home on the indie/microcinema circuit resting comfortably within a fest's dramatic block of shorts. For more information on the film, visit its Facebook page linked to in the credits on the left.

© Written by Richard Propes 
The Independent Critic