Subversive (2016) short film review

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An arranged press interview with a successful film director goes awry in the strange short film Subversive. Check out our review after the jump.

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Subversive is a strange film indeed. Directed by Joseph Villapaz, the short film follows on from his previous project 14 Days, which we reviewed in the past. Blurring the lines between fiction and reality, Subversive starts with press interviews being arranged between an interviewer and 14 Days director Joseph Villapaz, only here Villapaz is a female (played by Abigail Patrick) and the real Villapaz plays a producer. Confused yet?

During the interview between Lucia (Gina Berceau) and the female Joseph Villapaz, things take a turn for the worse when it is revealed that neither are who they say they are. They are in fact aliens and the interview was an elaborate trap to kill.

As you can gather, this premise is a little bit of a head scratcher but we have to applaud Villapaz for actually thinking outside of the box. It would be pretty easy to copy and follow work that has come before him by his peers, yet Villapaz has decided to go his own way and forge his career on his own merit.Subversive Poster Subversive (2016) short film review

That is not to say that Subversive doesn’t have its problems. It does and it is all in the technical department. Some shots are bland and even out of focus. The volume is recorded at its peak in some cases and too low in others. The production design is near non-existent, with the whole short being shot in a boring-looking room with just a poster of 14 Days as the only prop.

There is a reason for all these problems and they could have been averted pretty simply. The reason being – Joseph Villapaz did everything on the film. Just look at the short’s end credits and you will see his name next to such roles as Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Camera Operator, Boom Operator, Sound Editor, Film Editor, Still Photographer, Titles, Visual Effects and Blog Designer. The man did everything on the film, which is admirable for doing so, but not the best way to work, as some aspects can be left out when they need more attention. Having say, a separate boom operator and still photographer would have freed Villapaz to spend more time with the shots, which in turn would have instantly made Subversive a better looking and sounding film.

All-in-all though; I love how Joseph creates originality in his projects; something that the world of movies is seriously lacking. I just hope that he gathers some extra crew members for his next film, it really would help the production value immeasurably.

2 / 5 stars     

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