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The Independent Critic

Tom Noonan, Jason Victor Everett 
Jason Victor Everett
8 Mins.

 "Skinhead Requiem" Set to Screen at September's LA Shorts Fest 
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If you've ever wondered how dramatically intense an eight minute short film can be, you need to find a way to catch Jason Victor Everett's intense and involving Skinhead Requiem. Skinhead Requiem circles around the final meeting between a skinhead death row inmate (Everett) and a bit of an unusual priest (Tom Noonan, Heat & Robocop 2). 

After having its world premiere at April's Arizona International Film Festival, Skinhead Requiem has enjoyed a solid festival run including a screening at Dances With Films and an upcoming screening at September's Academy Awards qualifying LA Shorts Fest. It's not surprising that Skinhead Requiem would find a warm reception. It's practically tailor made for a festival run with an involving story, a unique presentation and killer (pun intended!) performances. 

Everett, a filmmaker based out of Santa Monica, is mesmerizing as the skinhead. He's a man you should probably hate, but to do so is practically impossible given Everett's compelling performance. Everett reported that to get set for the role he spent nine hours getting temporary tattoos, wore contact lenses to mimic tattooed eyeballs, went off anti-depressants to up the emotional impact (it works!) and gained 30 pounds over the course of a month. 

It sounds a little extreme, but it sure is effective. 

While it's not likely he had to go to the same lengths to prepare for his role, Tom Noonan is equally mesmerizing as the rather unique priest. A good scene says as much with the non-verbals as it does with the spoken word. This is one seriously good scene with the non-verbal cues and body language speaking volumes even when there's nothing but silence on the screen. 

Ken Glass's lensing is stellar in giving the film an ominous aura with a hint of medieval spirituality tossed in like a bolt of thunder. The film, however, is clearly a passion project for Everett as he has his hands on virtually every aspect of production including production design, special effects, art direction, set direction (along with Kenneth H. Wiatrak), and others.

Skinhead Requiem is the kind of film that makes you want to see more of it - both before and after. You watch the closing credits roll by and you can't stop wondering about this relationship and where it has been and what has led us up to this moment in time. With emotional intensity and authenticity, Skinhead Requiem is an eight minute short film that leaves you wanting a whole lot more.

© Written by Richard Propes 
The Independent Critic