Sunday, September 20, 2015

Two more ten-minute bizarrosities from fecund, short-form filmmaker, Jeremiah Kipp

TrustMovies first covered a few of the short films of director Jeremiah Kipp, shown at right, back in 2012 (that post can be found here). Now, a few years later, Mr. Kipp has placed two more of his short films --THE DAYS GOD SLEPT, made in 2013, and THE MINIONS (which has nothing to do with the recent animated block-buster), made in 2014 -- on Vimeo for interested viewers to peruse. I should have covered these two new short films several months ago, but what with our relocation to Florida and all that this entailed, I begged off until now. I'm glad I finally got around to viewing them, however, because both little movies are fun, beautiful to look at and definitely worth a watch. Once finished with each, I immediately viewed the film again and found more to like -- and to wonder about, as well.

Both films were written by Joseph Fiorillo and have a definitely otherworldly, magical/supernatural sense about them. They rely on narration as much as on dialog (a necessity, I should think, when trying to fit so much "plot" into such a short time frame).

Kipp's direction favors interesting use of black-and-white and color, with the latter used subtly only now and again, especially in The Minions (above), in which there's a wonderful use of a yellowish scarf clearly tinged with scent and memory, while The Days God Slept offers more color, much of it tinged with an icy blue, near-metallic cast.

Kipp employs suspense and shock technique, done rather quietly and subtly, and both these films are full of sexuality seen as both attraction and danger. The Minions offers a big, strapping guy (Lukas Hassel, above) , two women, a kiss and then enormous sexual attraction, complete with a narrative warning about witches and covens.

The Days God Slept gives us pole dancing, a sex club, gang rape, and some memories -- including maybe a Biblical reference or two -- from what just might be a very unreliable narrator.  Both films use two good and very attractive actors, Lauren Fox (above, right) and Mr. Hassel in a choice supporting role here, while Ms Fox is relegated to mostly narration and a bit of the visual in The Minions. There are several other good actors on view, too. Narrative-wise, Fiorillo appear to enjoy keeping us on our toes regarding what's real and what's not, and he is ably abetted by Kipp.

The films, including end credits, come in at between 10-1/2 and 11-1/4 minutes, and as good as they are, their short length begins to raise some questions about Kipp's work. Both stories here beg for elongation of content and specifics. They are interesting enough to make us want to learn more (this is particularly true of The Minions), yet the short form is appearing more and more to be a kind of tease from Mr. Kipp.

Is it lack of a bigger budget that is preventing a longer tale from being told? Probably. Some time back, Kipp signed on, as work-for-hire, to direct a slasher movie called The Sadist, featuring Tom Savini in the leading role. (I never saw that one -- I'm not even sure it found theatrical release -- since slasher movies are growing increasingly tiresome for me to care about or concentrate on.)

Still, I hold out hope that Kipp and Fiorillo will find a way to bankroll one of their short films into a longer version that will show us what they can do in stretching their very interesting ideas to full length.

Meanwhile, you can find out more about Kipp's two newer short films, along with all of his other work, by clicking here and scrolling around a bit.

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