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The Independent Critic

Jack Charles, Susannah Frith, Kathleen Mary Lee, Michael Lee, Shane Millhouse, Vaughn Rae, Laura Scheirich
Jake Houston Harris
13 Mins.

 "Three Poems" an Appealing, Experimental Short Film 
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With his directing debut, writer/director Jake Houston Harris has crafted a thought provoking and emotionally honest experimental short film that examines the ways in which we define ourselves according to society's conventions by the telling of three stories told through word, imagery, thought, and feeling.

As will probably not be a surprise, Three Poems is comprised of three poems that are in some ways disconnected yet in other ways remarkably cohesive.

"That Ominous Water" sets the poetic tone for this little trilogy of sorts by presenting a character whose very existence feels like one of desolation and desperation. If you're the type of person who regularly finds yourself distracted while watching films, then Three Poems may prove to be a maddening experience because it is an experience that demands one's attention. In the film, a woman is lying alone in a boat slowly pulling a rope toward her only to discover a jarring and isolating truth about the rope. It is this imagery that immediately begins to set one's thoughts and feelings in motion as it is impossible to not wonder about that which is being left unspoken here.

The second poem, "Rose Arcadia," is a more abstract piece with an emotional intensity and imagery that will stay with you long after the closing credits have rolled by. We have two people, one assumes lovers or former lovers or soon to be ex-lovers, side-by-side and placing dirt on one another. While that description may not sound meaningful, watching it unfold is powerful and aching and remarkably intimate in an almost uncomfortable sense. Harris perfectly utilizes the images in this film, while using the film's sparse sound in the most excellent of ways.

The final poem, "The Grey," is less intimate than "Rose Arcadia" yet no less personal as we become observers to two men staring one another down through the walls that have been built, both visible and invisible, between them. The words and images perfectly companion one another, and the film, which will likely hit Australian audiences harder than others yet I believe people from most any nation will have reasons to identify with it, is perhaps the most thought-provoking film in this intellectually and emotionally satisfying 13-minute short film.

A film of tremendous surrealism that uses its surrealism quite well, Three Poems is already experiencing quite a bit of success on the film festival circuit and has an appearance coming up from June 17th - 24th at the Palm Springs International Film Festival & ShortFest Film Market. For more information on the film, visit its Facebook page listed in the credits.

© Written by Richard Propes 
The Independent Critic