Thursday, July 23, 2020

Short Film: Acts of a Vampiric Nature

This is a 12-minute short that was directed by Tinofara Michael Hapaguti and released in 2015. There is a bit of an Edvard Munch theme to the short in that the painting Love and Pain, also known as Vampire, is used within the film but also that there is an opening narration (Adam Behr) that is a quote by Munch and I’ll reproduce in full:

From the moment of my birth, the angels of anxiety, worry, and death stood at my side, followed me out when I played, followed me in the sun of springtime and in the glories of summer. They stood at my side in the evening when I closed my eyes, and intimidated me with death, hell, and eternal damnation. And I would often wake up at night and stare widely into the room: Am I in Hell?” (n.d.)

Whilst this is narrated, we get a flow of images, including a stone angel and skulls, all of which are beautifully photographed. Once the quote has finished, the title has been displayed, we meet Max (Stephen Critchley) – the credit of Max’s surname being Dreyer obviously reaching to the wonderful Vampyr. He awakens in bed and puts a light on, the room seems to be a closet, the bed taking up the entire space. On the door opposite is a glamour poster but, when he attempts to pleasure himself, memories of being with a woman (Lizzie Aaryn-Stanton) destroys his ardour.

He steps into the living room, puts on music and opens a door that leads outside. He steps into the night, contemplating it. But again, he is interrupted by memories, this time of being stood in the same place, during the day, with the woman. On returning to his apartment he washes his hand (a nail brush is used to scrub his palms, intimating OCD possibly) but he sees the woman moving past in the mirror.

Back in the living room she seems to be there and calls him by name. He has an NHS fact sheet, there is a chair and a stand, a fridge that contains bags of blood. He intends to transfuse himself but the woman wishes to help – something he refuses, he will do it himself. The question becomes who is she? Is she real? A projection of memory? Or perhaps a figment of guilt? The answers are embedded below.

Love and Pain
I rather liked this as the filmmakers decided to use a blurred narrative that had enough hooks to lead you through the story but was vague enough through the running to allow an edge of mystery, the solution to which was not difficult to see but was satisfactorily revealed. The blurring also came to the wider world drawn – giving hints of a wider story without entirely presenting them.

The imdb page is here.

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