Spotlight: Blank Shores (2021)

Director: Alex Kyrou

Cast: Georgina Campbell, Gary Beadle, James Farrar

Review Author: Tony

Synopsis: With the police unable to help, Emily takes it upon herself to investigate the disappearance of her partner. A small clue leads her to the discovery of an unregulated world far removed from her own. Soon, Emily’s journey to reconnect becomes a struggle for survival.

Once again we’ve been given the privilege of covering a fantastic short film called Blank Shores for this month’s Spotlight. I cannot stress how appreciative we are to get the opportunity to access these wonderful projects from indie filmmakers. Blank Shores is a UK produced Short that covers the themes of child loss and grief from both a maternal and paternal standpoint with a science fiction backdrop similar to Inception and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

To delve into the plot would give too much away and I believe Blank Shores benefits from going in with as little information as possible due to the short films unfolding narrative. The science fiction is fairly Low-Fi, more a backdrop for the short to explore wider themes of loss, grief and the role of mental health in the face of such a personal tragedy. Georgina Campbell is fantastic, infusing so many emotions into a singular role that exemplifies a less is more approach relying on context and expression rather than dialogue.

It’s remarkable how so many of these short films illustrate how runtime is inconsequential to telling an effective and impactful story. Within its 16 minute runtime Blank Shores covers so many deep and unsavoury themes with a minimalist approach that feels both matter of fact but also tender and delicate.

Director Alex Kyrou cites the works of David Fincher, Denis Villeneuve and Paul Thomas Anderson as inspirations for the look of the short film; 3 particular directors I’m very fond of known for their rich/intricate cinematography. Certainly a high bar to set for oneself, Kyrou and director of photography, Benjamin Wearing rise to the occasion giving their short a familiar, lived-in look that easily blends in the science fiction elements with a more subtle and believable portrayal. The lighting and blocking is spot on from a technical standpoint making this one of the most impressive shorts we’ve covered for Spotlight visually.

Blank Shores perfectly blends subtle storytelling with an ambitious plot for a more than satisfactory short film.

Author: Reel Time Flicks

Passionate about film and writing since 2015.

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