My Last Ten Hours With You


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

My Last 10 Hours With You
"Hyde's lingering camera shows us the heat, captures an eternity of stillness that threatens to be the whole of life."

It's often remarked upon that the English language is a poor medium through which to understand love - we encompass a multitude of meanings with one clumsy word. We also, for all our talk of living in the moment, tend to value it in terms of endurance, its worth dependent on its progression into the future. From the enthusiasm with which Mark and Jeremy embrace one another, even in the absence of an introduction, one might think this is the first time they've met. In fact, it's the last day of their relationship.

Jeremy (Joel McIlroy) is on the verge of a new life. Slipping away, he practices with his language guide in the bathroom, even at this late hour. His home in Adelaide is beautiful. The sun shines; friends party on the beach. The apartment is warm, comfortable, a palimpsest of memories. Mark's love for him is intense, unwavering - but also, inevitably, domestic. It's as if he hears the call of the wild. Mark (Toby Schmitz) is watching life fall apart. He has everything he wants, but the awareness of impending loss poisons the moment. He has no language with which to process this. There are echoes of Neville Shute's On The Beach as the two men move through their daily routine without speaking of what is to come. Every day at the same time, Jeremy observes, a local shopkeeper walks around to the front of the building to turn on the light. This familiar detail already has a different meaning to each of them. What can any of it mean to Mar when he is living in the same world but Jeremy is no longer part of it?

Made in 2007, this powerful short has finally been released on the DVD of director Sophie Hyde's recent hit 52 Tuesdays. It packs an impressive amount into 15 minutes - not only the visceral passion of sex that needs to mean everything at one and violence speaking when words can't, but a convincing ten hours of longing and emptiness come before their time. Jeremy wants everything to be normal as he moves from one present to another. Mark's present is crushed under the weight of the future, the past too potentially in jeopardy. The weather is hot, slowing down time even as we see it compressed. Hyde's lingering camera shows us the heat, captures an eternity of stillness that threatens to be the whole of life. Both men are trapped in her beautiful frames as these hours will be framed in memory.

Anyone who has ever parted with a loved one will find something to relate to here. What's remarkable about it is its efficiency. This is short filmmaking at its best. Why expand into a novel when a poem is just right? This is love in the moment.

Reviewed on: 29 Sep 2015
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A loving relationship is about to end and nobody knows what to say.

Director: Sophie Hyde

Writer: Matthew Cormack

Starring: Joel McIlroy, Toby Schmitz

Year: 2007

Runtime: 15 minutes

Country: Australia


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