August 15th, 2010
As many people may know, Best Short Film is a category recognized by the Academy Awards. What most people may not know is that, through the years, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has actively been attempting to eliminate this category from official competition. “Invisible” is a good reason not to.
The reasons vary from year to year, but the gist is that some members of the Academy deem the short film less than worthy of receiving the acclaimed acknowledgement brought on by the bestowment of an Oscar. However, a slew of exceptional shorts in the past few years has given the Academy cause to reconsider this action, and “Invisible” is a prime example of the exceptional accomplishments that short films are capable of achieving.
There was a time when “short film” was a term synonymous to low quality. But one of the most impressive aspects to director Lincoln Myers’ short, “Invisible”, is the particularly high quality look and feel of the film. It may be short on length, but certainly not on production value. This is a pleasant surprise when one is inundated with the “YouTube” standard that so many new filmmakers find acceptable these days. In addition to the fine cinematography and creative use of camera, the actors far exceed the standard expectations for a short film. The lead actress is likable and engaging as the average woman caught up in uncontrollable events, and the lead actor is frightening while eerily sympathetic.
After a serene opening scene that lulls you into a false sense of security, there is a very sudden and unpredictable twist as stunning as it is shocking. From this point on, the superb editing and quick pace of “Invisible” keeps the audience hooked into the pulse-pounding action and is as exciting as anything you may catch at the multiplex. This is indeed one of the more compelling and believable conspiracy films I’ve ever seen with a plot that can only be described as similar to that of “Three Days of the Condor”. (But instead of the government, the powers at work are either that of a crazy man or aliens).
The final twist at the end is sure to surprise, as it leaves you guessing what could possibly come next. The great moment of uneasiness is reminiscent to the end of the original “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (before they added on the reassuring scene that all would be right with the world). But the end of “Invisible” leaves enough ambiguity that the short film feels very much like a small part of a bigger animal, perhaps even a teaser for a feature or a series, highlighting yet another useful purpose to the endangered animal known as the short film – that of a calling card, or introduction to projects yet to be financed. Please Academy: take this film (and others like it) into consideration when determining the value of short films.
My rating: A-