This short film by Alan Spearman is stunning. Spectacularly rich shots that slowly unravel against soft metaphorical secrets and soul. It’s an intimate look at the ephemeral moments of youth and the aches of growing old, a bittersweet story of two convergent lives in Memphsis’ Soulsville neighbourhood.
True-to-life, Spearman’s short 4-minute film is unlike anything I’ve seen recently. Gone’s the gaussian blur and post-rock soundtrack of most modern shorts. Instead, there’s eerily familiar whispers of childhood, palpably warm glows of nature, near-to-heart melancholic moments of old age. It’s more than just film, it’s vivid storytelling.
The film follows the too-young-to-be-traumatized Faith and her magical magnolia tree April, interweaving the sequence with an older woman named Hattie Mae who conjures up dreams of days past. She may remind you of a much older version of Faith, an implicit comparison Spearman himself gives in the description. He excellently contrasts the two, his story is almost all in the edits.
This is a piece soaked in metaphor, almost songlike. Less narrative, more reverie. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
Alan Spearman is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and photojournalist who has been featured in numerous publications like The New York Times and Sports Illustrated. You can check him out on his website and Twitter. I recommend you head over to his Vimeo to watch other expertly made shorts, like As I Am.