With the Cambridge Film Festival being packed with interesting and inventive features, it can be easy to overlook the short film programme. SHORTFUSION is often a treasure trove of inventive and beautiful cinema nuggets, and this year is no exception. THE WAR is just one such gem.
DeVanny is Cameron, an actor who has locked himself away in a smart hotel room in order to prepare for his new role, that of a soldier looking back on his life. He is struggling. No longer answering calls from friends and an increasingly panicked agent, he desperately works over the script, looking for a profound insight into his character. We follow both men, the struggling actor and his damaged character, as they begin to melt into each other. We see both of them descend into confusion, desperation and possibly even madness.
…as nuanced and interesting a take on the war film genre as you are likely to see this year.
Director Ben Ryan and star Andre DeVanny give us, in twenty minutes, as nuanced and interesting a take on the war film genre as you are likely to see this year. At its heart is a beguiling performance from its lone star which manages to convey to us the horrors of war and the struggles of an actor, all from the comfort of the aforementioned hotel room.
Ryan has drawn out two distinct characters with two distinct stories, but with a subtle, precise use of sound and editing that is as successful as it is ambitious, he manages to blend the real and the imagined seamlessly. Regardless of the film’s seemingly low budget, at no point does it feel compromised. The impressive screen presence of DeVanny and the mature eye of the director leave you fulfilled, yet still craving more, with a story well told.