SOMNIUS – Marc Junker

Original Review by Alan RogersSomnius

Somnius is a short 2013 science fiction film directed by Denver Jackson. A young monk is nearing completion of his pilgrimage, a rite of passage that required him to journey beyond the boundaries of the known universe. Somnius is the name of his space ship, the vessel the monk has used on his journey. Somnius has the ability to render thoughts and memories into reality. However, a group of mercenaries have taken an interest in the ship and, having managed to get on board, they must overcome the monk’s skills – including his adept martial arts training – in order to attain their prize. The director mixes sci-fi, mysticism and martial arts to fashion an engaging and, at times, visually stunning film well worth seeking out. The score is composed by designer and composer Marc Junker. [Read more…]


Original Review by Alan RogersThe Guardian of the Light

Philippe Arber’s The Guardian of the Light is a short film from 2015 in which Camille (Vanessa A. King) has to “find the courage to overcome her inner fears”. She has withdrawn into a world of dreams and stories after the untimely death of her father. Driven away from her home to her father’s old study in the country, Camille soon finds herself in a fantasy world where she must face a sorceress who has taken all light from the land of Palantia. The remainder of the film follows Camille as she battles her own demons as well as the evil witch. The Guardian of the Light is given a memorable score by Jonas Grauer. [Read more…]

BLUE BORSALINO – David M. Saunders

Original Review by Alan RogersBlue Borsalino

Blue Borsalino is a 2015 noir-styled short film written and directed by Mark Lobatto and starring David Warner, Margot Leicester, Bart Edwards and Laura Dale. Warner plays one-time private investigator, Ernie Child, whose life has been overshadowed by one fateful day in his past. When his first and only client, Jean Delaware (Leicester), wakes from a coma, he suddenly has to face up to this life-changing event from almost 50 years ago. Warner dominates when he’s on-screen, with a subtle and nuanced playing of a character whose life has been dominated by regret. The portrayal of the emotional state of Ernie Child and Jean Delaware is ably supported by a measured score composed by relative newcomer David M. Saunders. [Read more…]

PERIHELION – Gergö Elekes

Original Review by Alan RogersPerihelion

Written and directed by József Gallai, Perihelion (2015) is a short Hungarian film about a husband who is trying to live his life after the death of his wife. He tries to live his life, carrying out the usual every day routines unchanged since the death of his true love: he sets out a second place at the dinner table. His adherence to his past life only reinforces the loss he has suffered. He spends much of his time putting his thoughts down on paper, typing away on his typewriter. We hear his thoughts, his outpouring of feelings with the words based upon the works of Hungarian poet Beke Tamás Tarsoly. His thoughts are of only loneliness and despair. The director, together with cinematographer Gergő Elekes, sucks any hope the man may have out of the film by using cold dark blue hues, drab grey tones and dark shadows. As well as reinforcing the husband’s emotional state, these cinematic choices also brings out in stark relief the flashbacks the man experiences when he thinks of happier times with his wife: bright golden sunlight-infused light frames these briefest of memories. [Read more…]

KING OF THE GALLOWS – Jayden Lawrence

Original Review by Alan RogersKing of the Gallows

Jim Riker finds himself marooned on a tropical island in the Caribbean after his ship is destroyed having come up against a Spanish galleon. In search of riches, Riker and his friend Esma Alvarez race to find the buried treasure they seek. Pursuing them is Spanish pirate-hunter Capitán Garza, who also seeks the island’s bounty. A mysterious islander – who comes to Riker’s aid –seems to have a connection with the cache the pirate is hunting for. The question is, what lengths will Riker go to in order to secure the prize he covets. King of The Gallows (2015) is a low-budget, short 20-minute film directed by film school student Erik Magnusson and submitted as a first year project at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in New South Wales. The film’s score is written by young composer Jayden Lawrence (recently graduated from the AFTRS and who studied under film composer Christopher Gordon) who rises to the challenge of writing a score that captures the mysterious nature of the pirate tale and delivering integrated action music for a number of short action set-pieces. [Read more…]

WILD CREATURES – Julian Kantus

Original Review by Alan RogersWild Creatures

Wild Creatures (2015) is a short film inspired by the quote “Hearts are wild creatures, that’s why our ribs are cages”. The film explores the cascade of feelings and emotions of the heart (both positive and negative) that arise from being in love: attraction, addiction, obsession, self-pity, self-destruction. Directed by German filmmaker Rene Zhang (who collaborated heavily with the lead actress Chara Valon on the concepts behind the film), Wild Creatures has no dialogue and is filmed in black and white, relying on the strength of the on-screen performances (particularly from Valon) and the musical score to bring the emotional depth to the film: an artistic decision made to encourage audiences to overlay their own ideas and emotional interpretations onto the audio-visual experience. The score is composed by Julian Kantus, who worked with Zhang on his previous film, Yellow. [Read more…]

THE HIDING PLACE – Jared DePasquale

Original Review by Alan RogersThe Hiding Place

The best-selling 1971 book, The Hiding Place, is the true story account of the efforts of the ten Boom family to help their persecuted Jewish friends after The Netherlands is invaded by the Nazis in 1940. The book recounts Corrie ten Boom’s perspective as the family home and business become a hiding place for the refugees. However, they are betrayed, Corrie along with her father, Casper and Betsie, are transported to a series of concentration camps. This review here is related to the American Christian organisation Focus On The Family’s three-and-a-half hour “Radio Theatre” audio drama adaptation based on the best-selling book. Recorded both in the UK and The Netherlands, the drama stars a number of British actors including Wendy Craig, Isla Blair and Alec McCowen and features an impressive score by Jared DePasquale. DePasquale, who studied under Joseph LoDuca in the mid-1990s, is a composer and orchestrator with over 25 years’ experience writing music for numerous projects for film and television and is a regular contributor to the Radio Theatre audio drama series productions. [Read more…]


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