Directed by Steve Khan
Written by Steve Khan
Starring Jessie Rabideau
Shorts are an interesting lot, sometimes they are a very concise mini film with a definite beginning, middle and end.Other times they are entirely experimental, a hodge podge of sights angles and sounds with what seems to little rhyme or reason. And then sometimes you get one that's just a moment in time caught and forever held, similar to a photograph, a moment, emotion, or a thought almost singular in itself. And much like you would react to a photo that captures the shadow of a child on a wall behind a chain link fence, a short that explores a moment in time should leave you much the same, thoughtful, introspective, lingering...
Fear is very much all of that to me. The film is exactly what it is titled, the exploration of fear, through a routine we can all relate to just done in this sort of skewed meandering way to further exemplify what the subject Jessie is feeling as her mind seems to circle thru the fears she has. And like all of us she fears much... She fears what is happening in her love life, and she fears what her fear is turning her into. She fears loosing what she loves, as exemplified by her relationship with her dog, but she obviously fears her over attachment (maybe even co dependency) as well, and the silliness of it. She fears the sounds she hears while alone in home, but just as much, she fears the sounds that she doesn't hear... She is a walking, breathing example of the frenzy of fear that lives in many of us, and the way it circles upon itself, cascading in, creating new fears, that spawn like tadpoles, too numerous to count... Until finally we face those fears just as she does, but what then?? for her and for us, what happens when we face the demons, will they be real or imagined, and will we, will she, survive the fight?
I want to give credit where credit it due, Steve and Jessie both did fantastic jobs with this short. First off stylistically it is absolutely beautiful. The stark white creates an antiseptic clinical feel that really compliments the exploration of the actresses internal battle, and keeps you from feeling at all "comfortable" in the story line. It truly is a vision to watch, Steven put a visually stunning film in front of people with what appears to be minimal effort.
Jessie does a wonderful job of giving you cues of what her life is outside the moment of this film without spelling it all out for the viewer. She is both likable and frustrating at the same time, her back and forth leaves you very much feeling the spiral that she is enduring personally. Her performance is as minimal as the set dressing, both of which were really smart choices. It would have been easy for Jessie to go overboard in her portrayal and it would have made her character feel more like a caricature and the situation less relate-able but instead the whole film comes off as very introspective, and humanizing in the way we all endure the challenge of fear and the eventual facing of it. So kudos to both performer and director for bringing together a moment, a glimpse of emotion that is both raw and profoundly beautiful all at once, job well done.