Poet Stephen lies in a hospital bed. He is on medication and drifts in and out of consciousness regularly. When out, he dreams and when he is awake he is surrounded by death and hysteria ... See full summary »
Very effective short based on Tredre's dying experiences
Poet Stephen lies in a hospital bed. He is on medication and drifts in and out of consciousness regularly. When out, he dreams and when he is awake he is surrounded by death and hysteria that confuse him as to whether he can possibly be awake or asleep.
This film is quite involving because it is based on the experiences of poet Stephen Tredre as he lay in hospital dying of cancer in 1997. The short is based on his memoirs called Beyond Different. So as a hook this film certainly has a good one as it looks into his state of mind from his deathbed. The use of editing was what grabbed me - scenes were cut together well and without over-elaborating on the line between dream and awake. Mostly due to the production it was hard to tell if all the scenes were occurring somewhere between Stephen's dreams.
The actual plot is a little loose, but this is to be expected given the subject and the dream/nightmare feel to the film makes up for this. The acting is very good. Owen is effective as Stephen and brings humanity to the role in a real swing of emotions - my favourite being the smile he gives to the man reading the tombstone to him, he brings across so much with that look (recognition, memory, warmth). The lady crying in the bed opposite him was also very good. Beyond them the support cast do what is required but the two main roles really stand out.
Overall it's hard to sell this film but it is a lot more interesting than it sounds. It isn't breath-taking but it's hard not to be leave in a thoughtful, reflective mood once you've watched it.