TRIPTYCH VOL. 1 is something a little different for us to review. Instead of one short film, this is composed of three shorts examining pivotal moments in different people’s lives. Each film is under ten minutes long, which makes consuming them an easy feat. Looking at them as a whole, they all have very strong cinematography and the acting in each is distinctive and feels authentic. The audio in two out of the three of them felt a little overdriven in some cases and the mix of added sound with the diegetic sound captured on the day feels a bit combative to my senses (to be fair, I’m hard of hearing so the added noise tended to drown out some of the dialogue in INDESCRIBABLE FEELINGS and WOLVES IN THE WILDERNESS). Let’s examine each film individually for the full review experience.
APPLE AND CINNAMON
This was like watching two old friends hang out. It felt natural. The dialog seemed to come easily from the actors and the setup was simple and colorful. This is the most easily digestible of the three films. The cinematography is straightforward, and the sound comes through clearly. You quickly get a sense of the characters and through their performances, they ingratiate themselves to the audience quickly. Of the three films, this is the one I wanted to see more off (and funny enough, it’s the longest of the trio at over nine minutes long).
WOLVES IN THE WILDERNESS
Presented in black and white, this is a story of betrayal and payback, but you’re only treated to the consequences of a tale untold and unseen by the audience. What you do see, is a man beaten and bloodied with his assailant, a former friend, colleague, or maybe more, standing over him with a bat in hand and murder on his mind. This was the weakest of the three films for me. While the dialog conveyed the betrayal between the two men, there was something missing. I also felt that the victim’s bruises and blood makeup could have been strong and more prominent. I like the idea of what this story was trying to say, but it just didn’t hit me in the gut like I feel it had the potential to.
This one, from an audio perspective, was the hardest for me to understand. The noise present while the actor was on her phone call drowned out the majority of the dialog for me. I love how it was shot, and the actor conveyed the right emotions for what I assumed the point of the piece was, but I just had a hard time getting the full experience of it. That said, I loved the “fly on the wall” way that this was shot. It felt real. It felt like I was sitting at a table next to this person listening in on her call, and only picking up bits and pieces of the other side.
All of them directed by Andrew J. Etheridge (and two of them also feature him as an actor) and definitely shows his range and ability to tap into that thing that makes people human. You can tell from watching TRIPTYCH VOL. 1 that Etheridge understands and is a student of humanity. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for volume 2 once it drops.