23 min’ – Short Comic Drama
Director: Mark Battle
A Sweven Films production directed by Mark Battle, Here Lies Joe tells the story of a depressed man named Joe, who meets a lively and capricious young woman named Z at a support group.
The film begins with the noise of a duct tape tearing, later on followed by a man covering his car window gaps. Assuming the man wishes to end his life I’m wondering who drew the black marker smiley face on his window.
I like when a film begins like that. I am full of assumptions that keep piling up as the story develops.
With the hope of not sounding too presumptuous, I thought the cinematography was artistic and well executed. Using a camera filter that gives a pessimistic vibe to every shot was indeed contributing. The New Hampshire locations were appropriately backing up the plot just like they should have and added an even sadder ambiance to the film. Of so very gloomy, starting with Joe’s old (but new) car, the support group room, the graveyard, even Z’s house. There was something quite minimalistic in the location selection it almost seemed as if these two were the only ones left on earth.
The choice of characters is interesting, going for two eccentric individuals, very much different from one another; one down and dispirited and the other vibrant and careless. A perfect combination. They bond merely because of a similar goal, to end it.
Dean Temple is an indeed a Joe. He was a well fitted choice which granted him a Best Actor in Short Films award at the Madrid International Film Festival. Andi Morrow, however, did not convince me as much and I thought her acting needed a little fine-tuning. I wonder if she wasn’t out of her comfort zone a little, trying to act capricious and all. She kind of grew on me towards the end because I suddenly noticed her crying. That scene was very real to me. The bond between the two, as a bond, was very nice to watch. Very realistic. Overall, mission accomplished.
I was introduced to the 23 min’ feature by Timothy J. Cox, who was kind enough to ask for my review.
I’m glad I got to watch Here Lies Joe. I rarely stumble upon Indie films I haven’t already seen a few times. It’s great. Thanks, Timothy.