Something About Silence


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

Something About Silence
"A success predicated upon the impression of failure."

We could fall headlong into critical theory like a cat in a secondhand bookshop. We can be more prepared, however, with an awareness that text reflects author - even and if that author is a fiction. Paws for thought.

A mixture of, as our narrator puts it, "suggestive imagery and affirmations," a melange of the photographic real and the pixel wrangled, the smooth rich voice of Erik Hansen and the clear high tones of Donghee Nam and the sense of a character unfolding, unravelling, uncomprehending. In Patrick Buhr's film there is a continued implication of things unsaid but these are not shadows cast by accident - in a Q&A at Glasgow's 2016 Short Film Festival he talked about the YouTube genre of "hypnosis instructional videos", "especially the bad ones". He was taken with the concept of the things that one learns about the creators that is unintentional. He also talked about a desire to create a very specific sensation - the notion (and he used the example of watching Lynch's INLAND EMPIRE) that there is something going on that someone understands but not enough for the audience to grasp. One too many clues removed, one dot too few to connect.

Copy picture

Of course, that is the advantage of Q&A, of the presence of author - one can have intent made clear. In text alone, of course, phenomenologically, hermeneutically, one cannot - so one is left with Something About Silence with the successful creation of character from the asides and elisions of the narrator, and with the sense that there is something going on that may not be being conveyed. Which is, now that you are aware, a success. A success predicated upon the impression of failure. Which runs the risk of becoming as circular and hypnotic as any element of the film. Which is, now that you are aware, a success.

Reviewed on: 19 Mar 2016
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Character emerges from animated uncertainty.

Director: Patrick Buhr

Writer: Patrick Buhr

Starring: Erik Hansen

Year: 2015

Runtime: 12 minutes

Country: Germany


GSFF 2016

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