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The Independent Critic

Alex Russi
Alex Russi
12 Mins.

 Movie Review: Vhsvid 
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It would be nearly impossible to not admire the indie spirit of writer/director Alex Russi's one-man 12-minute short film VHSVID, a film that practically defines what it means to be a true solo effort created on an unfathomable $300 budget. 

In the film, Russi is a young student filmmaker whose most recent film school is unexpectedly left bankrupt after its own president's embezzlement. This leaves him no choice, sarcasm noted, but to shoot big for the University of North Texas Film School. 

Shot in Dallas, VHSVID is the kind of film I will always admire even if I can't quite get myself to give it anything close to a thumbs up. 

VHSVID is aiming for a lightly comical, slightly melodramatic glimpse inside the world of ultra-indie filmmaking with all its stressors, hiccups, losses, and unexpected occurrences. From struggling to find willing and able actors to an unreasonable deadline, our filmmaker remains determined to complete his film even after a positive COVID test proves to be a major setback and he's left to finish the entire project himself. There's a light and realistic spirit here and despite my own reservations with this film it'll be interesting to watch Russi in coming years. An actual freshman at University of North Texas, Russi is still finding his own cinematic voice and I'll definitely side with anyone who gets out there and gives it their all even if the final project doesn't quite work. 

My strong sense is that Russi is better off behind the camera, his simple yet engaging story shows promise and with a little more experience and better equipment it'll be fun to see what kind of film Russi can produce. 

VHSVID had its UK premiere just this week and may prove to earn its way through the microcinema and experimental film fest circuit. While the film may not have worked for me, if you get a chance to check it out you should if for no other reason than supporting an up-and-coming filmmaker. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic