When a young man rescues a mysterious egg from being eaten in the woods, he is thrown into an all-consuming cycle of madness and loss and begins to explore moments of his past, to the detriment of his present. Here is our review of Egg.
Egg is a 20-minute short film made by two directors Lucas Fabbri and Laurence Hills and, after watching it, I can safely say that having co-directors makes complete sense as Egg seems like two completely different films. It is very difficult to categorise this film, mainly because there are so many nods to different genres and styles that are on show. There are moments of noir, surrealism, fantasy, drama, horror, and suspense, and the scenes are shared between gorgeous black and white photography as well as a few in colour. Hills also acts as Cinematographer on the film and some of his shots, particularly in the black and white sequences, are quite sumptuous, bringing to mind German expressionism.
The main plot of Egg is all to do with grief and loss and how one person in particular deals with it. This person is given no character name but is a man played by the actor Kit Clarke who, with no dialogue, is given the challenge of telling us his story using nothing more than movement, reactions and facial expressions. He is excellent and manages to create an extremely compelling performance.
It feels like the main influence on Egg could be David Lynch’s cult masterpiece Eraserhead; a film about another lonely man who had increasingly weird dreams that became more horrific than the last. In Eraserhead, our protagonist falls in love with a girl who then falls pregnant with a child only to give birth to a mutated baby. We then spend the rest of the film gradually warming to Jack Nance’s extremely weird but iconic Henry as we follow his journey doing the best he can to look after his freakish offspring. Made in 1977 Eraserhead was a bizarre offering that was also gothically shot in black and white. 43 years later we can clearly see via numerous camera shots in Egg that Eraserhead still has the power to influence generations of new and upcoming filmmakers.
What helps make Egg stand out is its intensity, as there is a single-mindedness in its vision that runs throughout the short film. This is impressive due to having a co-directing team. Both Fabbri and Hills are also credited as the screenwriters on the project, so they obviously have a great relationship sharing a lot of the same ideas. This collaboration reaps dividends as at no point are we lost, there seems to be complete control over the material. What also helps Egg to stand out from the crowd is the music by James Horton; Egg is very bleak at times and the disturbing and ambient sound design helps to emphasise that feeling. Despite this darkness, there are some uplifting moments to be found and when they are Horton’s music manages to rise to the occasion. This provides some beauty amongst the grim and eerie moments that punctuate the story.
Although the end result may prove alienating to some viewers because, despite the strong performances and memorable imagery we don’t seem to care enough about the characters to fully invest in them, the film does maintain a decent consistency throughout, something that is often lacking in experimental films of this type. So even if you don’t quite understand what you are seeing you never feel like Fabbri and Hills are making it up as they go along. Therefore, for those of you who find themselves on the same wavelength as Egg, it is a very good film that is well worth the effort you may need to watch it.