“We’re not smart enough to figure out how to live in this world, so we change it”

Hillman Curtis’s short film “Blow Up” not only refers to and emulates the movie poster, but also plays on the title itself through the growing tension between the two main characters. It also features some really thought-provoking dialogue, such as the line used for the title of this post.

The photographer’s expression, one of longing, as he pauses and stares at the woman after saying “The deeper he looked into things, the clearer the face of God became” is somewhat painful and sad. We know there are some unresolved feelings, at least on his part. Every shot is thoughtful. When he asks about “Chris” after she makes a comment referring to men capable of harm, and as the camera moves down though it is out of focus, we can see a ring on her left ring finger, so we can assume “Chris” is her husband. The final scene is probably my favorite though, after the photographer explains how he wants “uncovering” to be the focus of this particular piece in his series of apocalypse-themed pieces, he begins to take her picture. She gazes up at him, as he sits over her (careful so that he is not actually lying on her), photographing in her a provocative position, and says his name for the first time, “Nick,” followed by “What are you trying to uncover?” He stops and slowly pulls the camera away from his face, and BAM, the credits roll.  Now that is a title that truly lived up to its name.

Circles was a short, fun, seemingly nonsensical bit of material about the appearance of anomalies when our world and the spirit world intersect, with the a few glimpses of some sort of female specter moving in the corner of a few of the frames.  I especially liked the closing line, “Change is good… only before or right after, never when you’re in it,” the eerie music and the shot of the skeletal drawing over the picture of a Native American with text that reads “Celebrating Columbus 1492-1992.” I almost wish this drawing and text had been mysteriously added in towards the end of the film, but unfortunately, it is present from beginning to end.

Though I didn’t get most of the references in “Spinal Tap,” as I haven’t seen the film This is Spinal Tap, the way in which they use dialogue, imitations, and quotes from the movie navigate various topics is fascinating. It eventually leads to the discussion of one of the character’s awkward relationship with his recently deceased father. Eventually, this particular character erupts, asking his to say something real instead of constantly quoting lines from the movie. They have a quiet moment, and he gently says, “Chris, can I just ask you one question?” Which he follows up with yet another quote, though he delivers it in the same serious, but kind tone. His friend chuckles and follows up with another. They smile and drink, music starts to play, and the credits roll. I actually found myself tearing up a bit at the end. There is nothing anyone can say to make losing someone easier, because nothing will change the fact that you’ve lost that person forever. However, humor, laughter, and friendship are crucial to keep you from losing yourself, losing sight of who you are and who you want to be.

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