Short Film – You Go Girl!

Steve Taylor-Bryant is watching some of the short films on offer at this year's Sundance Film Festival. With some plot spoilers, here are his thoughts on You Go Girl!...

Audrey Jenkins (Tiffany Mann – Rise, Orange is the New Black) is a New York stand up comedian Who can make any situation a joke. During her set in a Brooklyn comedy club, she jokes about how her disapproving mother hasn’t shown up to her reserved seats, she jokes about how as a younger woman her guy friends would all try to impress her mother, and how her mother’s disapproving face is etched on her brain, even in private moments when you don’t want to be thinking about your mother. The short film flicks between the set in Brooklyn and Audrey hiking a trail through the snow in the Oregon mountains, failing to get up a ridge but still pursuing her path, and back to the club where, after a killer set, at the height of her euphoria she receives a a devastating phone call about her mother’s death. Back in Oregon Audrey has finally got to the peak she had in mind and is reminiscing about a story her mother told her once about two lives but the second life not starting until you realise you only have one, she then spreads her mother’s ashes.

The story itself, whilst it could be construed as a mother/daughter story or a black family story, has enough heart and situation that even as a white middle aged man I found myself drawn into it. Cinematically it is stunning to look at, the New York club evokes memories of my own time in a comedy club audience, and the Oregon landscape scenes are picturesque and captured through the camera beautifully. Musically it is really refreshing as there is little or no score at all until it becomes essential and required and Elu Eboka does a wonderful job of heightening the emotion. All my plaudits though must go to Tiffany Mann who is mesmerising as Audrey and in thirteen some minutes has to portray just about every human emotion possible and as she receives the phone call has me believing it is real and raw and it took me a minute to remember I was watching a performance. Mann deserves to go on to bigger and better things and is absolutely incredible in a wonderful film from filmmaker Shariffa Ali who does more than enough with You Go Girl! to have me wanting to check out more of her work as and when I can.

You Go Girl! is a small film that packs a big punch and should be the launch pad for all involved to go onto bigger success. You can find 13 minutes in any busy day to watch this film, and you should.

You Go Girl! is showing at the Sundance Film Festival until 30th January. Find out more, and how you can watch the film, here.

Image - Sundance Film Festival
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