Cold Cut


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Cold Cut
"Mysterious in a manner that is thought-provoking rather than ostentatious" | Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Directors' Fortnight

It seems appropriate that a film made by two filmmakers - Filippino Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan and Singaporean Siyou Tan - should find its strength in juxtapositions. Student Joy (Chevy Claire Recososa Guantero) is waiting in line to participate in a talent contest, the implication being that it offers the prospect of escape to the big city from the provincial area where she lives.

We don’t learn that straight away, however, since this is a film that is built on mood and emotion rather than narrative. Instead it begins with her on a beach during the magic hour in a stand-off with a young butcher (Noriel Tome Obinmaga). This is not their first encounter - we’ll see that later - but the sequence of events here is less important than the feelings they bring with them.

Elbahan previously made the atmospheric Sundance short The Headhunter’s Daughter, and Tan’s CV includes Locarno short Strawberry Cheesecake. Together, they build their film through gesture and movement, incorporating dance elements as a way of the characters expressing their emotional conflict. The crepuscular lighting captured by experienced cinematographer Tey Clamor (Metamorphosis) adds a lyricism that is in sharp contrast to the everyday realities of both the slaughterhouse where the butcher works and the prospective performers. Mysterious in a manner that is thought-provoking rather than ostentatious, this Cannes Film Festival short from the Directors' Factory also showcases the impressive hip-hop dance moves of KC Lyn Retes and bodes well for both directors’ future features.

Reviewed on: 16 May 2024
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Joy, a 19-year-old student, is about to compete at the local talent show. As she's about to enter the audition, a mysterious butcher takes her to unknown horizons.

Director: Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan, Siyou Tan

Writer: Don Josephus Raphael Eblahan, Siyou Tan

Starring: Chevy Claire Recososa Guantero, Noriel Tome Obinmaga

Year: 2024

Runtime: 13 minutes

Country: Philippines, France


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