Low Tide

Low Tide


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

Low Tide is well shot but unfathomable otherwise. There might be something objectionable here, or something powerful, but incomprehension means that it delivers little intentionally.

There is a man in a bath; at some point he walks through empty streets to fill a prescription. There is repetition, symmetry, a sense of a pattern. A bicycle rolls past, vacant. We too are startled by it. It's not the only surprise.

Copy picture

Screened at Glasgow's Short Film Festival in a programme occasionally plagued by technical issues, this Italian short was shown without subtitles. There's a long, very long conversation that ends in an unpleasant incident. The bicycle is involved, perhaps. A girl too.

What might be creatures drift in front of the camera. There is a stunning moment with the camera twisting, rotating, as the man walks down a staircase. Giulio Stasi, it is, and Eva Milella the man opposite him. The direction is crisp but it's not clear what's going on, however pretty. There is a prescription, a bus, the sea and a bath, parallels and structures. The programme notes talk about awareness and reality, but an audience that doesn't know where a film is will have trouble knowing where it is that it is going.

There are moments of technical excellence - a slow, lurching zoom to the couple at the bus stop. The palette, the understated performance of the pharmacist (Gisella Burinato). It's well directed, probably well acted, and dream-like - just remembered on the verge of awakening, with little to no sense left.

This review should be taken with a pinch of salt; the stars are effectively a formality, as the film seen was not complete - there was language, but not captured. It can fairly be said that it was pretty, but that's not enough. If your reviewer gets the chance he will watch it again, amend or even replace this review. Short films are often hard to find, they're either caught at one festival or never seen again. If you have the opportunity, take it - for the visual quality alone this is worth seeing, but I can fairly say nothing else.

Unless, of course, the lack of subtitling was deliberate, distancing, in which case what can be inferred was implicated, actions speaking louder than words, and the protagonist is either less than sympathetic or more than disturbed. In which case, there, I can fairly say nothing else. It's hard to derive intent from execution, even further when mediated by screenings over which those involved had no control. Subsequently, then, the same recommendation - if you can, see it - it's well shot, and therefore worth one.

You can watch Low Tide here:

Reviewed on: 01 Mar 2011
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A lonely man one winter afternoon undertakes a strange journey without leaving his room.
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Director: Roberto de Paolis

Year: 2009

Runtime: 15 minutes

Country: Italy


Glasgow 2011

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