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The Independent Critic

Written and Directed by
Jason LaMotte (story by Mike McCormack)
Gary Lewis, Ciaran Flynn
Running Time
12 Mins.

 "The Terms" Review 
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A boy (Ciaran Flynn) sets fire to his home. His father (Gary Lewis) declares he's going to shoot him...but, he gives his son one shot at survival. The arrangement is negotiated, all possible scenarios addressed...except for the one that actually happens.

This 12-minute short film directed by Jason LaMotte had its world premiere on April 18th, 2010 at the Nashville Film Festival and has already been accepted by festivals in Beijing, Hawaii and at Paramount Studios as part of Cinegear Expo. Beautifully photographed by Lee Pulbrook with a nicely complementary score by David Benjamin Steinberg, The Terms is most unnerving for how incredibly ordinary the entire film plays out.

Surprisingly and jarringly devoid of emotional histrionics, The Terms feels at once very distant and yet remarkably familiar. Shot in less than two days on top of the windswept South Downs in Southern England, the universality of The Terms makes it feel like a story that could happen in your own back yard.

Co-stars Gary Lewis and Ciaran Flynn match each other with dry, understated performances that trust LaMotte's precise script based upon a story by Mike McCormack. The story unfolds in a very matter-of-fact manner, a device that doesn't feel intentional yet is undoubtedly well intended.

Initially, The Terms feels like an isolating, disconnected experience. It is only as I sit here several days after first viewing the film that I begin to realize just how much the film has stayed with me, its images still vivid and the performances of both Flynn and Lewis still planted firmly in my mind.

A unique vision and story beautifully told and performed, The Terms portrays the struggle between youthful dreams and aged resignation with simplicity and honesty.