Short Indie Film Round-up: Daisy, The Raisin, Bathtub By The Sea

A still from the short film Bathtub By The Sea.
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Here are more short films that you can watch for free on YouTube – and there’s some weird and wonderful stuff to explore.

Welcome back once again to another triple bill of indie short films on YouTube, that you can watch free of charge, and support indie filmmakers as you do. This week we’re surfing on the weird wave with three strange tales. A farmer learns the shocking truth about his missing cow; a tale about an old man and a raisin; a lighthouse keeper finds a mermaid washed up on the shore.

Daisy (Dir. Torbjörn Edwall)

A farming couple tries to solve the mysterious disappearance of one of their cows. That’s the simple, surface premise of this Swedish short film, but there’s more going on under the hood. Peter Morlin and Emma Broome star in this moody mystery that is saying something about us, and just may be a warning too.

The performances are excellent — in particular Emma as the wife, whose wolf story is delivered with such intensity that I felt like I was being interrogated. Edwall’s writing and direction, drip feeding the suspense throughout, as well as the film’s message, is masterful. He also handles the tonal shift brilliantly, and what a shift it is. My advice is to go in cold, don’t read up anything about it, just watch it. It is amazing.

The tension is supported by gorgeous cinematography from Haris Mlivic, and without spoiling things, the finalé’s showstopper is handled by the director. The score, which goes from sinister synth drones to dark, fairytale melodies, is supplied by Upright Music. There have been several films about animals recently (2021’s Cow and 2022’s EO about a donkey to name two) and I think this one fits right in thematically. Those other films mentioned don’t have a finalé like this though.

Bathtub By The Sea (Dir. Ole-Andre Ronneberg)

A lighthouse keeper’s well-ordered life is upended when he discovers a mermaid washed up on the rocks. This Norwegian film is a gentle meditation on ageing and the fear of becoming obsolete. Viggo Solum stars as the old-man-of-the-sea character whose obsessively routine life (he has days-of-the-week tea cups) is really just a facade, shielding him from a reality he doesn’t want to face.

Tor Sivertsøl’s faded, pastel cinematography encapsulates the man’s colourless life well and actually begins to shift through the course of the story. Anne Cecile Ukkelberg’s mermaid is very sweet and the downbeat brass score by Daniel Herskedal is almost a character in its own right, capturing the plodding inevitability of the lighthouse keeper’s plight yet lilting in a hopeful way.

I loved this. Its meditative pace and striking Norwegian setting give it an other-worldly charm that floats along like the sea breeze. I’m at a time (and place) in my life where I find myself regularly looking out to sea, pondering my relevance as I get older and this film gave me hope. I think it will for you too.


The Raisin (Dir. Rob Carter)

Okay, what to say about this? A story about a curmudgeonly old American man (but shot in Dartmoor) with the look and feel of the films by Martin McDonagh filtered through the lens of the Cohen brothers, in a setting that is both very old and yet strangely modern, giving it a dream-like oddness.

Rob Carter’s The Raisin is a real enigma, seemingly drenched in metaphor, that defiantly refuses to be categorised (I am trying, believe me). It’s hard to know how seriously to take it — or how seriously it takes itself. So what’s it about? A very grumpy old codger is distracted from baking potatoes by a squirrel. He grabs his rifle, opens the door, only to be met by an elderly woman carrying an umbrella. To say more would ruin your enjoyment of this quirky tale that could be a parable or a parody.

It feels important to note that this is Rob’s debut movie and that in his other life he is a comedian/character actor whose alter ego is Christopher Bliss. The cinematography of Archie Brooksbank is exquisite and the sweeping, heart-breaking score by Gabriel Chernick and Tom Recknell really sells the world that Carter is evoking. It’s a film that divides audiences and invites discussion into what it’s all about. The squirrel’s pretty good too.

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