Jim Meskimen, Nick Lane, Michael Klaumann, Tamra Meskimen
"Son to Son" Continues on the Indie Fest Circuit
There's a palpable tension in the air throughout the eight-minute running time of Taron Lexton's exceptionally involving dramatic short film Son to Son, a film centering around a tension-filled late night meeting between a father (Jim Meskimen) and a son (Nick Lane), both of whom sit in the dimly lit all-night cafe looking at each other but not really seeing much beyond their own fractured relationship and the kind of wariness that comes with too many mistakes made too many times.
Son to Son is a beautiful film to watch, though an aching one, Kevin Garrison's lensing crackling like a burned out lightbulb further dimming an already dim encounter as if a shadow is following every word spoken. K. Spencer Jones's editing work allows Garrison's camera to linger on faces and bodies and little moments and little things like a salt shaker.
You don't know why you feel the tension, but you do.
Written by Meskimen, Son to Son confronts but not in the way of heightened dramatics. Instead, this confrontation radiates through the slouching guardedness of Lane's fragile recovery from addiction and his knowledge that his father, portrayed sublimely with hints of paternal warmth enveloped by an agenda the son knows all too well by Meskimen, is only here in this place because he himself needs to be in this place.
Both Lane and Meskimen are exceptional here, their obvious tattered threads of familial connection endlessly frayed even as both hold onto something that they can't quite identify. Meskimen has the more complex role, a father who shifts dramatically over the course of the film's eight minutes and who shifts and shapes according to the whims and rhythms of both addiction and the distant memory of paternal instinct.
While Lane's role here is less complex, it is no less vital to the film's tension and rhythm and gives the entire scenario a vulnerability that heightens everything that unfolds. To the credit of both Meskimen and Lane, it's never completely clear where this is going to end up and it's much credit to Meskimen's script that the film's end doesn't neatly satisfying that built-up anxiety and tension.
While Son to Son isn't necessarily a story we haven't seen before, director Taron Lexton brings it vividly to life here and the final production bristles with freshness throughout.
For more information on Son to Son, visit the film's Facebook page linked to in the credits.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic