Brit-Charde Sellers, Timothy J. Cox, Kimberly David, Anna Calabrese (Narrator/Voice)
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
"Terry Kendall and Orange Green" Review
It's not often that one can use the words "light-hearted," "stalker" and "thriller" in the same sentence, but thanks to writer/director Meg Skaff such is the case with the short film Terry Kendall and Orange Green.
Terry Kendall (Brit-Charde Sellers) is your average, ordinary young woman living Brooklyn and working her ass off at a local grocery store. Life is pretty normal ... at least until a rather unusual man starts showing up every single day at exactly the same time with exactly the same question.
Rather than turning Terry Kendall and Orange Green into your typical psychological thriller, writer/director/D.P. Meg Skaff has managed to craft a darkly humorous film that defies genre and expectations with both horrifying and uncomfortably humorous results. Having a compelling story isn't always dependent upon actual spoken dialogue, a fact evidenced by Skaff's involving story here involving a bubbly, youthful grocery store clerk and a mysterious stranger with no clear intent. While Terry Kendall most certainly speaks, it's her actions that actually speak volumes about her increasingly fragile mental state. Similarly, the mysterious stranger says far more than is spoken with a simple question involving chicken breasts.
Sellers is perfectly cast as Terry Kendall, embodying a young woman who is simultaneously freaked out by this punctual stalker yet ultimately too distracted by everyday life to become overly panicked about it all. It could be tempting to play this all for high drama, but Skaff and her cast are clearly going for a sense of normalcy here and Sellers projects it perfectly.
On the other hand, character actor Timothy J. Cox goes against his usual type by playing the mysterious stranger, Orange Green. Until the film's closing moments, one is never quite clear whether this deceptively charming and clean cut man is actually dangerous, completely harmless or possibly just a socially awkward chap with some sort of special needs. While this isn't the type of role that Cox usually goes for, he stretches himself with tremendous success here and it'd be nice to see him explore this direction again.
Kimberly David is also terrific in a supporting role, and Anna Calabrese narrates the film in a way that is most unusual yet adds another layer of absurd normalcy to everything that goes on. Skaff serves as D.P. for the ultra-low budget short, her lensing nicely capturing the BedStuy are in which the film was shot with pristine imagery and an almost eerie lightness. The production values are rock solid throughout, a remarkable achievement given the film's modest budget.
A relative newcomer with two shorts to her name this year, Meg Skaff may or may not ever find her way into the Hollywood inner circle but hers is a visionary cinematic voice with a clear sense of story in both its visual and oral presentation. Currently finishing her B.F.A. at the Pratt Institute, Skaff is a filmmaker whose career it will be a joy to see unfold in the years to come.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic