A scene from SPLITSCREEN: A LOVE STORY, directed by JW Griffiths.

Splitscreen: A Love Story (2011, JW Griffiths)

I’m disinclined to call Splitscreen a technical marvel because it was shot entirely on a cellphone, but rather because of how Griffiths matches the two shots. The entire short is two vertical shots sitting next to each other, both showing the events from one character’s point of view. These images aren’t just connected by content, but by action and reaction. Coffee poured in shot two fills the cup in shot one. But Griffiths takes it further, matching not just horizon lines, but curbs on sidewalks.

Occasionally, the shots jarringly do not match. In some ways, being more artificial—Photoshopping the edges to match better—would have helped. But the most impressive thing about Splitscreen isn’t the concept, it’s that technical ability to match the shots. It clearly took a lot of time and thought. Faking it would be… cheating.

Also important is Lennert Busch’s lovely score.

Splitscreen is unexpectedly masterful.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by JW Griffiths; director of photography, Christoper Moon; edited by Marianne Kuopanportti; music by Lennert Busch; produced by Kurban Kassam; released by STUDIO.

Starring Lola McDonnell (Woman) and Scott Ellis (Man).

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