Silence Is Golden

Silence Is Golden


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

This is familiar territory to Chris Shepherd - and, my, he really knows his turf. Just like the excellent Dad's Dead of a few years ago, he looks into the past - this time a slice of the 70s - and, though you may think his glasses are rose-tinted initially, on inspection the colour is closer to jaundice.

Billy (Conor Morris) lives with his single mum and deals with his nutty neighbour who likes to nut walls. The banging is bonkers but Billy's juvenile obsession with his neighbour hides a deeper pain about things much closer to home.

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Exhilerating invention shines at every turn, as Shepherd deftly mixes live action with animation without the hint of a join. Michel Gondry employs some similar techniques in his upcoming movie The Science Of Sleep but even he could learn a lesson or two about imagination from Shepherd.

Billy's comic books come alive, people morph into monsters of his imaginings and his narrative bristles with energy.

Shepherd's subtle changes the colour palette to reflect the turn from sweetness to sour are excellent and he never employs a technique just for show, there's always reasoning, which means the effects never feel tacked on.

The only tiny grumble is one glaring anachronism that leaps out at those of us who were children of the Seventies ourselves. At one point, Billy, in a fit of pique at mum, utters the words: "Yeah, whatever!" - which would never have been heard in Britain before the age of Buffy.

That's splitting hairs, however, since the rest of this multi-layered short is pitch perfect for the period - right down to the door-to-door gypsy.

If you only see one short film this year - make it this one. Dad's Dead won a raft of international awards... and this is better.

Reviewed on: 09 Oct 2006
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A boy's eye view of life with his single mum and a nutty neighbour.

Director: Chris Shepherd

Writer: Chris Shepherd

Starring: Conor Morris, Kate McCloughlin, Andrew Dunford, Patsy Peters

Year: 2006

Runtime: 15 minutes

Country: UK

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If you like this, try:

Dad's Dead
The Science Of Sleep