Short indie film round-up: On Second Thought, Lost Property, Reappear

The central couple in Reappear, a short film by Tommy Clarke.
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A trio of short films available for you to watch online and for free: this time, they’re all about love and relationships.

Welcome to the weekly drop in the ocean of great indie cinema available to watch for free on YouTube. This week we’re getting all romantic with three films about love and relationships. The three films I’ve chosen have a New York couple looking back at their relationship with differing perspectives, a young man on a journey to trace his late father’s footsteps begins an unexpected relationship with a female photographer, and in an animated story, an elderly woman revisits the same lost property department, searching for something more.

On Second Thought (Dir. Nora Jobling)

This New York story, written by and starring the director, is told in voiceover over flashbacks of the couple’s relationship. They argue about how they met, and both see key moments in their relationship with different eyes. As time passes we watch their relationship develop and see where it eventually leads.

If you love classic Nora Ephron romcoms like When Harry Met Sally (1989) or Woody Allen’s Annie Hall (1977) then this is the kind of thing you’re getting here. It has a bittersweet quality set against, in my opinion, the most romantic city in the world. Todd Kappelt’s cinematography makes great use of the locations and Eve Hinz’s editing is on point with solid comedic timing, lilting along nicely to the waltz music of Louis Stephens. The performances are enjoyable; Johah Ray as the male lead is down to earth and goofy in a loveable way and has good chemistry with Nora.

The ending is kind of open-ended and could be interpreted in different ways, which is a nice touch. It could leave you feeling a little sad but hopeful, or hopeful and happy. Just like the film is about contrasting opinions and skewed viewpoints, you as the audience can be divided on its final outcome.

Lost Property (Dir. Asa Lucander)

This short film from Finnish director Asa Lucander is the first animated short to be included in this series. You may know her work from the Coldplay video for ‘Daddy’. An elderly woman keeps revisiting the man at the lost property department, searching for something she’s lost, and each time it’s something new. He tries to help her to find what is missing from her life – and it’s not what he expected.

The art style adds a fairytale quality to proceedings — shout out to the team of animators who worked on this by the way — as does the music composed by David Arch. It’s a gentle, sweet film about love and memory and made my heart melt. Animation, much like dance, can often say things visually that other art forms can’t quite match.

Again, this is another story that will make you feel happy and sad at the same time. Its romance is in its depiction of a love that endures time and the frailties of age. At just under 200k views since 2019 (at the time of writing) it’s another example of short films getting buried under the algorithmic avalanche. It’s six minutes of your life you won’t regret. Check it out here:

Reappear (Dir. Tommy Clarke)

In this beautifully shot love story by British filmmaker Tommy Clarke, a young man attempts to find the pier where his recently deceased father posed for a photograph in his youth. His plan is to recreate the photo, with himself as the subject, as a gift to his grieving mother. On his trip he has a serendipitous meeting with a female photographer who agrees to take the shot.

This packs a lot of story into its 13 minute runtime, and has all the charm and typical British restraint of a Richard Curtis movie, capturing a wide gamut of our capacity for love in all its forms. Lorenzo Levrini’s cinematography captures the peculiar magic of the British coastline well with sweeping aerial shots. Freddie Wise and Ellise Chapman ooze likeability and bounce off each other nicely. The music by Rob Lewis delivers a lot of the emotional tone of the film.

This won awards and it’s easy to see why. The ending will just fill your heart with joy (and if you’re like me, your eyes with tears). It’s about the wonderful merry-go-round that is life, how when one door closes, another opens, endings and beginnings. Check it out now:

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