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Midlands Review of Pieces of an Adolescent

By midlandsmovies, Mar 26 2020 08:17AM

Pieces of an Adolescent

Directed by Renecide


The passing of time represented by the tick-tock of a metronome opens a new short film called Pieces of an Adolescent that deals with the troublesome and tough times of growing up.

An experimental piece, the short is a mixture of styles that tell the background of the filmmaker and the struggles they face.

“I used to be happy when I was younger”, says the young man as he shares personal experiences of depression, loneliness and even suicide.

A mixture of voiceovers and brief interviews stand alongside images of a radio, text messaging and an interesting use of titles giving us snippets of a life.

The editing is haphazard but is a great technique used to show the conflicting and confusing thoughts that go through a vulnerable person’s head. The black and white handheld camera adds a personal touch and an interesting use of titles attempts to create a sort of structure amongst the chaos.

From CCTV and Skype footage, the differing media continues randomly yet about halfway through we switch to colour. Alongside this comes a more formal documentary style as the protagonist’s life starts to come together. A clever switch I enjoyed, the use of film technique to again represent the “pieces” of this person’s life from disorder to stability.

And with a dash of religion sprinkled in, as well as questions around personal identity, the topics ensure a certain weight is given to the multifaceted themes.

On a personal note I found the short quite long as the experimental style is not something I’ve ever warmed to. Narrative cinema is more up my street and although the short has interesting concepts, they come and go almost at random. The differing styles gives glimpses into a time of life but for me they don’t coalesce into a complete whole and the point is made realtively early on.

An honourable piece, the film certainly tackles hugely complex and difficult issues in a sensitive and very personal way with a style that represents the young man’s fractured mind. However, the style may not be up everyone’s street but if you stick with it, the second part somewhat explains the first half and the interesting use of styles shows promise and technical expertise to be admired.

Michael Sales

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