Written by Tyrone Bruinsma
Last night I had the privilege of being invited to a private screening to see a directorial effort by Lark Lee (Goldstone, Harrow), a Korean-Australian actress who has been consistently working for several years and recently been making a push towards directing and writing. Frankly the level of creative growth has been awe inspiring to see, she’s clearly learned working under directors like Ivan Sen and Catriona McKenzie in developing an incredibly strong visual and directorial voice unique to her. All I can say is I’m excited to see where she’ll go as an actor, director or writer in the near future as Australia’s push for female voices in the industry and variety in content is the open door she needs to show her talent.
Now, Confession is basically a prank version of your typical short film. The classic set up of a man talking to a therapist about murders he’s committed is told through visual language that any audience could be fooled into believing they were watching a straight forward thriller. I mean the opening sequence has a similar feel to Christopher Nolan’s famous short film Doodlebug, so for a moment thanks to the visual language and Joey Vieira’s powerful performance-I bought into it as a thriller (forgetting I was expecting the joke). That’s actually one of the best elements of this film, Lark’s use of visual language, plus Vieira’s performance-makes the film look and feel like your typical dramatic thriller. But Lark’s use of timing, direction and writing for comedic effect is on point. Calls to mind the skills of directors like Shane Black, Joel and Ethan Coen or David F Sandberg. It’s really impressive stuff.
Speaking of the performers-Joey Vieira (Dora and the Lost City of Gold, San Andreas) is a powerhouse performance here. Like I said, half of the joke in making this dramatic thriller comedic is his acting. The film’s dramatic execution basically represent the point of view of his character of Mr Grey. It’s why the film works so well as a short, one subversive joke of the thriller genre-executed to as close to perfect as you’re going to get. Seriously, if Joey isn’t given a major role in an upcoming blockbuster-I’ll be disappointed. The other performances are stellar, Lark giving herself a smaller role-but still having all the grace and comedic timing required for this film. Then there’s Marika Marosszeky (Freudian Slip), who is just hilarious in film as the therapist Dr Kym. Lark’s direction of her actors brings Marika’s comedic ability perfect, making her basically the audience surrogate as we laugh along with her.
It’s also just a well made film from direction, cinematography, colour grading, sound design, music, production design and even some snazzy credits.
Confession isn’t a big film or an ambitious film, but like some of the best shorts-it aims to do one thing very well as a comedic take on the thriller genre, while being a showcase for some great directing and acting.
It’s currently doing the rounds at Film Festivals, so check the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ConfessionThrillerComedyFilm) when it’s screening. If you can’t make the screening-check it out upon it’s online release. The actors all deserve to continue in growing their presence in the industry and Lark Lee I hope will become a prominent voice in cinema.