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The Search (2009, Mark Buchanan)

The Search has an odd problem–director Buchanan isn’t happy with being sublimely profound. Instead, he goes for obvious and slightly forced profound. It’s unfortunate, since the short is otherwise breathtaking.

Solitary man Matt Berry, who works for SETI, beta tests one of the at-home antenna kits (you know, for kids). He discovers he’s able to listen in on fetching neighbor Flora Montgomery, who has recently lost her husband and is having problems raising her kids alone.

All these scenes are amazing. Everything–Jean-Louis Schuller’s photography, Gregor Barclay and Gavin Thomson’s music–it’s all fantastic. And I haven’t even gotten to Berry, who’s phenomenal. He doesn’t talk for the first half or so of the short, it’s just this perfect physical performance.

The obvious ending hurts the short a little, but it’s more unfortunate than anything else. It’s too easy a move to pass up for Buchanan apparently.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Mark Buchanan; screenplay by Gregor Barclay, based on a story by Buchanan; director of photography, Jean-Louis Schuller; edited by Nathan Haines; music by Barclay and Gavin Thomson; production designer, Elizabeth E. Schuch; produced by Colin Bell and Buchanan.

Starring Matt Berry (David), Flora Montgomery (Laura) and Tim Plester (Flood).

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