Gen-Z, Beats Of Love, and Trouble are our recommended short films this week – they’re all musicals, and all free to watch.
Welcome once again to our weekly dive into indie films on Youtube. This time we’re off to the musicals with three very different cinematic sing-alongs. A group of young people tackle the problems they face as Generation Z; an eccentric loner collects rhythms in jars in an attempt to breathe life into a mannequin; A travelling salesman, with a tale to tell, arrives at the door of a dying old man.
Gen-Z (Dir. Amie Zwag)
Generation Z are the first fully ‘digital generation’ and Amie Zwag’s film tackles the perils and the pitfalls of their lives in this highly accomplished song and dance spectacular. Everything from data privacy concerns to the effects of social media on mental health is expressed through the movement and voices of three main characters stuck waiting at a bus stop.
The film’s credits state that Zwag is the ‘creator’ and she also plays piano in the ensemble. It’s unclear if she was the composer or if it was a group effort but the music is first class in its execution, as is the choreography (including the editing, transitions, lighting). Zwag also stars alongside Josephine Su and Zac McAulay who are equally great and who lead a stellar chorus line.
The message of the piece is ultimately that you don’t have to face the multitude of issues modern life throws at you alone, you can seek help, and it’s okay not to feel okay. The film was a VCE media project so of course I had to type ‘VCE media’ into the search bar. There’s a wealth of talent there that will likely feature here in the future.
Beats of Love (Dir. Wim Geudens)
An eccentric man drifts around town, collecting sounds in jars. He returns home every day and plays them to his audience of toy dolls, with one in particular, a mannequin of a woman, whom he loves and desperately wants to bring to life.
This is without question a strange little movie. Wim Geudens carries the weight of all the filmmaking duties (including the music) besides the acting, which is undertaken by Benjamin Pattin as the man with the jars, Staf Beneens as ‘man driving car’ and Kasper the dog.
The closing sequence will likely have you scratching your head as much as tapping your toes, but I am here to celebrate the fact that quirky art like this exists. Nothing this strange could ever be made by a committee of executives, and the world is all the richer for it. Wim has also made a short film called Robbie Rocket which unfortunately is not on Youtube in full. If anyone knows where this can be seen get in touch.
Trouble (Dir. Jacob Chase)
As is often the case, I’ve saved the best till last. The third short I present to you this week is Trouble starring the amazing Anthony Rapp. The least said about this the better, just put your feet up and watch it. A travelling salesman calling upon a dying old man is all you need to know.
Florian Stadler’s cinematography is beautifully textured and makes the best of the production design of Sam Neidenbach. It’s important to note that Jacob Chase also wrote the script, which is brilliantly built around Zach Robinson’s score. The story, told through song, uses the house as its stage, introducing characters like ghosts or flashback hallucinations, all choreographed by Sean Lew and dressed impeccably by costume designer Michael Mullen.
To say too much about the plot would spoil your fun in discovering this for yourselves. I was blown away by it. Jacob Chase has become a director of note with his most recent feature Come Play being released in 2020. He’s done everything from horror to romantic comedy, a real Jack of all trades. The best reason to watch is for Anthony Rapp’s performance which is fabulous and nuanced.
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