On at Raindance Film Festival from tomorrow, a reminder of Susan Omand's thoughts on the short film No More Wings...
For a stripped back, 10 minute, double double header with not much action, there’s a lot going on in this film.
Two lifelong friends meet up at their childhood favourite South London fried chicken shop at a divergent point in their lives.
From the very start, the outside view of a corner fast food café, you get a grounding of where and when this is. That one shot, for me, immediately set a tone and an atmosphere, evoking memories of other places and a wistfulness for other times. There’s a griminess in the neon-reflecting puddles, a grimness in the sirens and then this bright white oasis of scrubbed tiles through the café door that suggests a place out of step with reality; it’s all about the nostalgia of what’s gone before clashing superbly with the invasion of the real world. The music also helps to set the scene and it was a nice touch to have the sound change as the street-smart Jude (Parys Jordan) removes his headphones to greet his city slicker friend Isaac (Ivanno Jeremiah) who has asked to meet up at their old childhood haunt to catch up and talk about how they’re moving on, or not, as the case may be – the title of the film is a very neat play on the subject matter.
I must say the casting in this short is perfect, especially mirroring the looks and character of the men in their teenage versions of Jude (Tyrus McKenzie) and Isaac (Joshua Cameron), the double double-header that I mentioned at the start. The disparity of their characters is evident even then; sensible Isaac talking about exams and hard work while the gifted Jude dreams big, eschewing his upcoming football trials for a career in music. It was a nice touch, by the way, that the music the kids are listening to as they come into the café was actually performed by McKenzie for the soundtrack. I also really loved how the two tracks of the story, the teenage and the adult, seemed to overlap with clever camerawork showing unknown customers passing tables that inferred that all four people inhabited the same space at the same time, giving a real “ghosts of the past” feeling for me.
But it’s the acting and interplay from “grown up” Jude and Isaac that really sells this film for me, a lot of it in what’s not said, more than what is – a slight change in attitude, an inflection in a sentence, a smile that doesn’t quite reach the eyes, conveying so much – not least how Jude seems to really earn his living…
No More Wings