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Non-Review: Lover’s Jump

I had the pleasure of checking out Lover’s Jump, a short film directed by Mark McCombe. It’s a short piece, clocking in at under four minutes – the writing is efficient, but perhaps a little busy (if only it seems that there’s quite a lot going on to fit into four minutes). I won’t spoil it for you by discussing the plot – only to suggest that it is well worth your time. The film distinguishes itself on the technical front, featuring a superbly haunting soundtrack from Rich Keyworth underscoring McCombe’s atmospheric direction. Despite the limited runtime, McCombe efficiently establishes mood – he creates a wonderful impression through a series of carefully chosen shots complimented by the eerie music in the background.

McCombe is undoubtedly aided by his lead actor, Laurence Fuller, who conveys a lot through controlled and restrained body language. There’s a lot of ways to read the scene when it opens, and Fuller manages to keep it open-ended without seeming indecisive. I’m not entirely sure what to make of the short’s ending – it seems so much about mood and emotion that it seems counter-intuitive to stick a twist in (given that there’s really only about a dozen lines of dialogue in total). I suppose that’s probably an unfair criticism to make, given the time constraints – but it still struck me on watching it.

Setting the bar...

Still, it’s the intensity of the short which really makes it work – it conveys a sense of foreboding and dread effectively within four minutes, to the point where the actual dialogue and plot seem almost perfunctory. I can see great things on the horizon for McCombe. He’s certainly skilled. His approach is relatively minimalist, but he gets a lot of impact for that. It’s well worth your time if you can get a look at it. I suspect it will be appearing as a special feature on the DVD of McCombe’s directorial debut soon enough.