I love short films. I love the challenge filmmakers have to convey a story, characters, a place and time with limited resources and running time. Unfortunately many short films never find a wide audience, many only screening online or at film festivals. I wish there were a studio that would put out a regular Blu-ray or DVD magazine of sorts containing a variety of short films. Once in a blue moon filmmakers will contact me about reviewing their short film to which I happily oblige, it is more of a favor to me than to them.
Recently a filmmaker named Jeremiah Kipp contacted me about his short film The Days God Slept. Let me start by saying that is one of the most kick ass titles ever. As a writer, I know the struggle that is coming up with titles, and that is a damn good one. I gleefully accepted his request and proceeded to watch the 10 minute short. It would be difficult to even give you a synopsis of The Days God Slept, it is a trippy, reality distorting tale of a man and woman and the secrets between them. The film’s official synopsis is as follows:
“The Days God Slept” is a cinematic prayer that deals with love and secrets; with faith and acceptance. Kristy has a secret to tell John and when she does – will their burgeoning ties of affection be strengthened or severed? Or will they find that the hardest thing to accept might be oneself?
The first thing I will say is that the film itself is beautiful. Sumptuously photographed and artfully shot, this is an otherworldly looking short. The actors are all excellent, especially the two leads, Lauren Fox as Kristy and Malcolm Madera as John. They are both very natural and almost ethereal in their portrayals. Lukas Hassel is also great as the omnipresent Carl. In terms of visuals, The Days God Slept has it all from the look of the film, the acting and writing and the haunting score by Harry Manfredini.
Now on to the story. This one really had me. I sat for quite some time afterwards trying to piece together what I thought the film was about. I have multiple theories, but I wouldn’t want to ruin any of the films charms by detailing them here. I do think the film has a lot to do with people and the choices they make, the ghosts of people and actions from our past and how they haunt us, and why the human condition is such a mystery itself. We cannot explain to ourselves why we make decisions that are not good for us or that we know are inherently wrong, but we follow our instincts sometimes with no reason whatsoever besides the fact that we know it is what we want to do or must do. I would like very much to know how writer Joseph Fiorillo would explain the film himself, as I think this is a story that could be interpreted a dozen different ways depending on the personal history that any particular viewer brings in with them before watching the film. It is haunting, lingering, intimate and labyrinthian. And to pack all of that into ten minutes is quite a feat.