*Online Premiere* How much do a bystander and a victim owe one another, and what kind of connection can form between the injured and the helpers in the instants of a crisis? Questions like these are depressingly relevant to our increasingly violent daily life as a nation, and they’re at the core of this hard-edged, mysterious film. A woman drives through fields robed in the murk of a snowless winter, late to the reading of her father’s will, anxious to stop the flow of pestering texts by just getting there. That is, until she rolls by the nightmare sight of an overturned car, resting alone in a pasture like a dead animal, with a screaming woman in its belly.
Director Logan George and his co-writer Celine Held (who also stars) seem to have an innate understanding that we’re often most engaged when we’re still in the dark, that it’s when the lights come up all the way that we lose interest (looking at you, new Twin Peaks). The interaction between the women is slight but potent, a trail of cigarette smoke curling into a question mark. It’s not hard to imagine the short run of this film opening into a greater mystery.
There’s far more complexity here than you’d expect given that the film’s the length of a longish pop song. It’s thanks to a kind of background tumult of interruptions, demands, and details tucked in the corners of frames, credibly building up the never-enough-time rhythm of an impersonal emergency. The result, like all good shorts, is a marvel of compression that expands, in the mind, beyond its miniature size.