Travis Mitchell, Booth Daniels, John Mariano
Ben Eisen, Jordan Rosenbloom
"The Spinning Man" a Timely, Thoughtful Short
The post-apocalyptic world created by Jordan Rosenbloom in the 14-minute short film The Spinning Man feels strangely, and eerily, familiar and timely in this unique, inspired story about Stan the Spinning Man (Travis Mitchell), a lone DJ who finds connection while spinning the tunes in a post-apocalyptic world where it's even unclear if there's life outside the world he's created for himself.
One day, a voice talks back to him (Booth Daniels) and Stan's bewilderment exists somewhere between excitement and paranoia. As his own survival situation becomes ever more precarious, could this voice be a light in the fog or could this all end very, very badly?
Co-written by Rosenbloom with Ben Eisen, The Spinning Man feels stark yet almost uncomfortable in its humanity. With a retro-vibe that bears a striking similarity to those old isolated DJ booths of the 50s and 60s, The Spinning Man lulls us into a sense of comfort with this man we hardly know. As Stan, Travis Mitchell carries with him an almost paternal presence that feels warm and compelling while also possessing just a hint of the edginess that comes from over a year of isolation surrounded by nothing but tunes, clam chowder, and one seriously large roach.
Yet, it's this strange voice that keeps penetrating the night that feels menacing as if it's trying to invade Stan's safe space in any way it can. Daniels haunts us from the moment we hear his voice and we can't help but wish Stan would stay away from him.
Lensing by Isaac Berner maximizes the use of shards of light in the almost smothering darkness. Original music by Katy Jarzebowski elicits a smile that seems to come from comfort or delirium or both. Rosenbloom's own editing allows us to linger in our discomfort to get a sense of this world that our own need for control and conformity has created.
The Spinning Man is a film that accomplishes wonders with its modest budget. The film's opening scenes are mesmerizing and more than a little jarring. The shifts that are experienced are so subtle that you practically blink your eyes to make sure you're not seeing things.
You're not seeing things.
This top-notch dramatic short is ever so timely in a world where it seems like a myriad of egos could all send us into oblivion in any given moment for no other reason than they have the power to do so. That's disturbing and so is The Spinning Man.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic