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Midlands Review - Clockworks

By midlandsmovies, Mar 25 2019 09:02PM



Midlands Review - Clockworks


Directed by Mark Corden


2017


Directed by Mark Corden and written by and starring Emmeline Hartley, the 2017 film Clockworks is a time-shifting comedy-drama from the Midlands.


We open on a “In Loving Memory” memorial card for young girl Amber Clockwork before panning across a workshop where a blue-flamed blowtorch bursts across the screen. Here we see Emmeline Hartley (as Alana Clockwork) sitting pensively as her tools, including a solid-looking drill and mighty sledgehammer, surround her as she thinks.


As sparks fly during the grinding of an item the audience are initially kept from seeing, the film edits the tough brutal workmanship sequences with a more sombre tone. Midlands Movies Awards Best Actress nominee Emmeline is shown in quiet reflection, staring at a seemingly-significant watch.


The film excels with its sound as we hear (and see) a number of tools in full use and the short mixes this well with a stirring orchestral-tinged soundtrack. This is all to the credit of Alex Stroud who was deservedly picked by the Midlands Movies Awards panel for Best Sound in 2018. The classical-influenced score however soon become a crashing “stomp” soundtrack of metal on metal and mechanical and industrial melodies.


[Spoilers] However, we soon discover a rudimentary time-gauntlet has been created in this garage workshop and after quickly winding it up, our lead instantly disappears from her location. We cut to the past where our heroine grabs her sister Amber (Esmee Matthews) who is deep in a phone conversation. And as her sister pays little attention to the world around her, Alana pulls Amber out of the way from an imminent accident with an oncoming car.


The film quickly moves to a different future altogether, yet our lead may have had some doubts about her initial time-travelling, and life-saving, antics. We subsequently get an alternative timeline which does some clever re-setting of the plot points we’ve just been shown.


The film is clever and interesting from the outset and the two leads do well with their brief appearances whilst the technical proficiency is excellent with sound, image and performances all expertly coming together. Not content with all that, it even has some very effective visual effects work too. The production team also hasn’t underestimated the power of a good poster in its marketing either. Put your star faces front and centre, folks!


In summary then, the title and content obviously emphasises the concept of time, yet Clockworks’ own short runtime means it doesn’t overstay its welcome at all. And with its high quality concept and delightful execution, the film ends up being a time-travelling triumph.


Michael Sales


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