Directed by Lucas McNelly
25 min.; U.S.A.; Color; Stereo
Recently, fellow film blogger and indie filmmaker Lucas McNelly offered to let me preview his latest short film. So I fired up the flux capacitor and zipped from 1938 (the year currently under study here) to the present. Below are my thoughts on the movie.
"We don't have to do anything. You could just stay," lonely hearts club member Kristin (Rachel Shaw) pleads after dropping a heavy bombshell on Guy (Adam Kukic) in the middle of their first date in the drama, Gravida (2007). The short film is a "study in loneliness" from dedicated indie filmmaker Lucas McNelly, the creative mind behind the stark, French New Wave-inspired L'Attente (2006). Expressing an intangible concept like loneliness through the screen might seem problematic, but McNelly takes his best shot. Events in the film unfold in a dreamlike atmosphere thanks to a structure built around dips to black. These transitions can be overused and revert back to a tired gimmick, but the director knows what he's doing with them here. Emotional support is provided by original songs from IIona V, Amy Crawford, Jerome Wincek, and a score composed by Memphis-based band The Futility Parade. The results are heartfelt and poetic. If McNelly is striving to craft an indie film masterwork Gravida is a major step in the right direction. You can see the world premiere of Gravida 12 July 2007 at the Hollywood Theatre in Pittsburgh. More information can be found at the dpressproductions website.