Stationary

 

starstarstarstar

 


With his second short, Louis Chan reveals a big talent in just twelve minutes. 

 
Stationary

  

Three young adults sit together, passing round a joint. Louis Chan’s Stationary takes place almost entirely in the somewhat claustrophobic environment of a small car. As the three Brits (and make no mistake, this piece is recognizably and purposefully British) discuss past, present, and future, their complex history begins to unfold, bringing into question the validity of their relationships. What does it mean to know someone? What does it mean to be a friend?

 

The short film format is best suited to single-location, character-driven conversations. In that respect, Louis Chan has undeniably knocked it out of the park. The principle action is focused almost entirely on Jimmy and Che. The two are meeting up for the first time in years, but their connection is very deep and full of scandal and conflict. Chan’s dialogue immediately places us into the thick weeds of drama. There is an eternity of history behind every word, the entirety of the UK is felt echoing beyond the small confines of Jimmy’s vehicle. Although not clear at first, it is quickly apparent that things are not entirely copacetic between the old friends, and over the course of twelve minutes, Chan and his cast masterfully describe the pains and pleasures of inner city youth, from drug dealing to university aspirations.

 

It is obvious that the filmmaker is concerned with the concept of ‘understanding’. The character of Jimmy is the de facto protagonist, and the narrative centres on him attempting to convey his struggles and hardships to his former friend (perhaps lover?). Sparse and efficient visuals are paired with vibrantly expressive dialogue to create true urgency. The drama here is palpable and relevant, something that a good deal of features try and fail at, let alone short films. There is a moment near the end where Jimmy is alone, and mutters something to himself. I dare not commit the phrase to print for fear of spoiling it for potential viewers, but that single moment is full of so much emotion that I became slack jawed. In the current digital age, so focused on and enamoured with the razzle dazzle of special effects, it is nothing less than a bold act of rebellion to choose a sensitive character’s moment of vulnerability as the climax of a film.

 

Stationary reveals talent, cultural understanding and a filmmaker with big plans. Free to view online at https://youtu.be/WSvsRe4hqCs, don’t miss out on one of the exciting new voices of the next generation.

 

CALEB JOHN CUSHING

 

Cast: Aaron Thomas Ward, Rebekah Murrell, Xavien Russell, Jacob Avery, Martina Angel Ayuk.

 

Dir Louis Chan, Pro Jonathan Caicedo-Galindo and Alexei Slater, Screenplay Louis Chan, Ph Samira Oberberg, Pro Des Kenzie Yeo Donaldson, Ed Christopher C.F. Chow, Music Gianluca Cardinale, Costumes Umps Machake.

 

Fresh Look Films/Turn The Slate Productions.

12 mins. UK. 2019. Available on https://youtu.be/WSvsRe4hqCs