For The Record: There's Always Spotify


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

For The Record: There's Always Spotify
"A very neat summery of an experience that will be familiar to many, whilst still seeming nuanced and personal."

Ray (Julian De Zotti) and Angela (Anna Hopkins) are breaking up. Or rather, they've broken up - he's moved in with somebody else - but they still have to fully disentangle their stuff, and tonight that means the record collection. What will go with him and what will stay with her? As they argue, record get popped onto the turntable, bringing back potent memories of the way they felt about each other, for good or ill, in times past.

Part of a series of highly polished shorts exploring the influence that music has on out lives, There's Always Spotify, as its title suggests, uses a nostalgic hook and examines the different way that owning a piece of music in physical form, as opposed to just listening to it, makes us feel. There's an obvious parallel to the sense of ownership that being in a relationship can create, for good or ill, versus simply seeing the other person around. For the most part, the tunes used are classic ones that viewers will have their own feelings about, which also raises the issue of how we relate to things differently and how even the most intense, most intimate emotions are probably being felt by someone else, about somebody else, to similar music at any given time.

The dialogue and performances here are heavily stylised and whilst this is important for the type of comedy the film is aiming at, it initially acts as a barrier between viewers are characters. Both actors are skilled in their craft, however, with Hopkins on particularly strong form, so that in due course they manage to break through. Of course, the emotional journey these characters are experiencing isn't a simple one and there are a lot of ups and downs crammed into just 11 minutes, but this would seem to be in accordance with the turbulence of such moments in real life.

One word of warning: if you're a lover of vinyl and concerned about its demise, there's a scene here which might cause you some distress. Suffice to say that hearts are not the only thing getting broken. Although the film doesn't really contain any surprises, it's a very neat summery of an experience that will be familiar to many, whilst still seeming nuanced and personal. Though not the strongest film in the collection, it makes a great introduction to it.

Reviewed on: 21 Mar 2021
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Ray and Angela have just broken up. They've just got one last thing to do: reunite one divvy up their prized record collection.

Director: Lisa Baylin, Julian De Zotti

Writer: Julian De Zotti, Karen Knox

Starring: Julian De Zotti, Anna

Year: 2020

Runtime: 11 minutes

Country: Canada


SXSW 2021

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