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In the wake of a traumatic incident, Olive and Jonny must grapple with what they have done and what they have lost.
With The Announcement, Zack Bernbaum offers a suspense that holds the spectator at the end of its chair. Here is further proof that short films have nothing to envy to feature films.
A long sequence shot
There are two particularly effective things in The Announcement: the music, and the plan. I say THE plan, because this short film is shot in a single 12-minute sequence shot. It is a great accomplishment because there is a lot of movement. The camera rarely stops.
On several occasions, it stops on a swollen face or on an object. But quickly the movement begins again, as if the camera was a ghost walking around to see what is going on in this house.
This long shot is supported by poignant music which succeeds in creating stress for the spectator. And since the camera does not always follow the characters – as if we wanted to go and see what is happening elsewhere – we remain on our appetite. We would like to see more, to know more…
Little is said
Because we actually know little. A swollen-faced woman walks around the house. We imagine that this is her house. What is she looking for? What is she doing? What happened to her? Then suddenly the camera stops paying attention to this woman and brings us to another room where a man is sitting. He seems to be affected by something. Is it frustration? Remorse?
And for 11 minutes, we will try to discover why these two characters do this. The scenario is well put together. No dialogue. Only one word is said throughout the film. And yet, everything is said. We overestimate the importance of words in a film. Screenwriters tend to want to explain everything, to take the viewer for an idiot. However, The Announcement is not a film for a specialised public. It is a film that everyone can enjoy. And yet, everything is not explained to the viewer as if they were a child.
The outcome of this short film is great. We don’t see anything coming. The way the characters interact, move, play with each other gives us few clues. Although a second viewing would certainly let us say that it was obvious. But this is the strength of a suspense, right?
What is certain is that The Announcement will leave you breathless. One of the best thriller of less than 15 minutes that I have ever seen.
You can watch the film rigth here