I have loved movies since I was a kid. I grew up watching Disney on the television, and then Abbott & Costello and when I could go to the movies I was a student of everything I could devour. I really started to find what flavors best suited my palette though as a teenager and beyond, when I could choose the movies I wanted to watch and could seek out similar or different. As someone who has always loved movies I have also come to appreciate the things that make features and shorts similar and different and it’s fascinating to delve into that.
Where as a feature film is – ideally – a fully formed story with any number of nuances and themes. With a short film you can get close to what a feature does in many aspects but in most cases it serves more as a set up and punchline with no real time to dig too deep below the surface. There are aspects about both forms that are beautiful and in the hands of a skilled filmmaker the longest film can seem like it flies by and the most time challenged short can feel like you just saw something epic.
SMILING WOMAN from director Alex Magana is a beautifully shot short film that hit Youtube just in time for Halloween. The film has the feel of a folk tale brought to the modern day, telling the simple tale of a young woman waiting for a train who runs into something beyond belief. The film is very light, at a run time under three minutes but it tells a whole tale. Shorts like this serve as an engine to explore a moment and it does that very well. The acting is good. The filmography is well done. The short really is beautiful and feels ‘filmic’ and not shot on video. The story is very slight and leaves you wishing there was a little more to it but it serves the purpose at hand. The only real criticism I have is that the music overpowers some of the scarier moments that would have better been served with quiet. Past that small critique, it’s a good short and well worth a look if you want something creepy but don’t have a lot of time to invest in a longer work.
If you’d like to check the film out it’s available on YouTube – https://youtu.be/mBYGUn6Q7tQ