Oh wow. One of my insomnia specials I found by chance, and it is SO GOOD! I just can’t find a link to send you, and that’s a shame.
Smile is a portmanteau compilation of shorts, five in all. From the production values and the complete lack of names in the cast, you get the impression it’s a film knocked together by a bunch of film students. If that’s the case, then the future of cinema is safe in their hands.
It’s a collection of somewhat quirky love stories, heterosexual and LGBT, and it’s very very engaging. I loved it from start to finish.
I was very smitten with one of the episodes, Silver and Gold. This is about the emergence of a tentative relationship between two human statues. I’m not a big fan of human statues. ‘Learn the damned words!’ But this really works. There’s no dialogue, but clever direction and some natty location work on the Embankment in London make you care. The casting of nobodies is inspired too. You can see what’s going on, but you have your fingers crossed that it will work, you do care.
It’s utterly charming. Clever without being cleverclever.
From A to Q is a similarly immensely simple, charming, touching, and not even remotely saccharin. Beauty pageant entrant is a closet transvestite who has a yen to be Freddie Mercury. She gets found out by another tranvestite (the interracial aspect adds a bit of an interesting aspect here), and it’s a real ‘two people out of their depth a bit’ number.
Do the two fall in love? No spoilers here. You need to see it for yourself.
In fact you need to see Smile full stop. I loved every minute of it. Shifty lighting and odd focus pulling reminded me of David Fincher, but that’s where the resemblance ends, since nobody gets hurt or killed. The scripting, such as it is, is deft, the stories are a bit offbeat, the performances grab you, and though the whole thing reeks of art students they know what they’re doing and stay well clear of pretention.
Considering I’d been throwing up for five straight days and was knackered, and wanted to sleep like Rip Van Winkle, I stayed awake into the early morning hours of Wednesday because I was entranced and wanted to know what was going to happen.