Showing this weekend at Raindance Film Festival, Susan Omand watched the short film All The World's A Stage and encourages you to do the same...
This is a short film that will make you cry.
Not because of any high emotion portrayed on the screen because there really isn’t any, although it is sensitively played by all. Nor because of the pathos of the narration, although the cleverly rhyming verses are beautifully told by Olivia Colman. Not even because of how gorgeous the film looks, although it does, oh it really does – the colour use is astonishing, the lighting and camerawork are perfect and the stripped back sets add an incredible amount to the story without any need for extra explanation of character.
No, you will cry because the sheer enormity of this short film will grasp at your soul and wring it until it hurts. At least it did for me. The simplicity of the tale belies its complexity as the weight of the world is measured in a single bedtime tale. The fact that something so cataclysmic can be triggered by something which, on the surface, seems utterly trivial is stunning but, even more stunning, is the fact that it happens pretty much without anyone else realising. Watching the mental downward spiral, awful and ultimately unstoppable, of the main character, coupled with the feeling that others around him are ignoring or downplaying his reaction, was an almost visceral experience for me as I related to every step. I watched things blow out of proportion in his eyes so quickly, and so definitively, that I wanted to shout out to the screen that “it doesn’t matter,” to “just stop,” but I knew that he wouldn’t, couldn’t, hear. And that’s what I got from this film; that sense of futility, of just standing by and watching self-destruction in progress, unable to reach out, unable to help, and I think that is something that everyone needs to feel through fiction like this, where it really doesn’t matter, so that they recognise it in life, when it really does.
So yes, this is a short film that will make you cry. Watch it anyway below.
Find out more about All The World's a Stage on their website at https://www.atwasfilm.co.uk/about
Watch the film on the big screen at Raindance Film Festival on 6th October