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The Independent Critic

Timothy Bonavita, David Graziano, Mike Daniels, Carlyne Fournier, Peggy Passarelli
Chris Esper
12 Mins.

 "Still Life" Based Upon a Quote by Ira Glass 
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Based upon a quote by Ira Glass, Chris Esper's Still Life is an almost meditative narrative short that explores, through the personhood of Martin (Timothy Bonavita), one young photographer's struggles with the creative process and his own talent.

Shot in black-and-white, Still Life is a 12-minute short film that conveys both the artist's passion for his work and, as well, the struggle to open oneself to a wider audience and a critical world. The film works best when it maintains its almost meditative state and we are left to ponder the words and the actions of this young artist. It's not that the dialogue itself is weak, not at all, simply that the inherent limitations of a sound mix for a low-budget short lead to a slightly disjointed auditory experience within the film.

Bonavita does a nice job of conveying the insecurities of a young artist still learning to trust his artistic voice, while David Graziano is also strong as his professor and Carlyne Fournier makes a nice brief appearance as his mother.

The film is beautifully photographed by D.P. Mark Phillips, while the original music from Ryan Campos is in itself a meditative experience.

Writer/director Chris Esper has created a film that is both intelligently written and beautiful to watch unfold, a parallel to the creative process that stays with you long after the film's closing credits have rolled.

© 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 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, 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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