Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Short Film: Daytime

Daytime is a short film by David Doria and comes in around the 17-minute mark. It is listed as 2018 on Amazon but doesn’t have an IMDb page to confirm this. It is one that plays with the vampire’s propensity to be allegorical, indeed the vampirism in this is tied very much into addiction and, in exploring that, I am afraid there will be a major spoiler.

It starts with a stage and, once the curtains part, Rose (Cree Armstead) is on stage singing. She is watched from the crowd by Andre (Ray Raymundo) and he knows the words – indeed we will learn that he wrote the song. At the end of the performance Rose leaves and is followed by Andre. She stands in a carpark smoking. He has been looking for her for weeks, she can’t stay in one place too long and doesn’t want to hurt him. They kiss…

Cree Armstead as Rose
8 Months later and they are living out of a van. It is morning and she awakens; he reaches for a vial – but they are out. There is a moment where he looks in the mirror and it doesn’t seem to capture her. After some conversation they start kissing and she (with flashes for the audience of fangs) bites him. She stops, realising what she has done, and runs out of the van. We see her in what appears to be a restroom. She sees herself in the mirror looking unbloodied and normal whilst she is covered in blood and fanged. A body is on the floor, wound in his neck – for a moment she sees him as Andre.

She returns to the van by nightfall and says it is lucky it was cloudy (I’ll come back to this). Andre believes they should move on but she wants to party for one night before they go and drags him to a bar. At first all is ok and they dance but she gets an urge again and vanishes to the bathroom. Andre leaves the bar and sees her with a man. He reacts verbally, she goes to bite him and the stranger smashes a bottle over her head. Andre beats him and takes her back to the van, where she vomits… in the morning she knows something has to give.

in daylight
So, here is the big spoiler – the film plays with the vampire as the allegory of the addict, of course, but more so… the vampirism is a tool used by Andre to capture her plight in a story he reads to her (prose or screenplay, I wasn’t sure). She is an addict and in rehab. The giveaways were there – when we see her run into the daylight it isn’t cloudy (as she later states) but deliberately overexposed to give the impression of harsh direct sunlight, also she sometimes sees herself in mirrors and at other times doesn’t. In the rehab centre we see needle marks on her arm and prescriptions of Subutex (used for opioid addiction). It is a nice use of the allegory by making it an allegory for the consumption of the characters rather than for the audience exclusively.

On Demand @ Amazon US

On Demand @ Amazon UK

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