As promised, we’re bringing you our personal opinions on the four short films written and directed by Remy Moses that screened earlier this month at the brilliant Blame The Consumer premiere. Check out our review of the night here if you haven’t already!
The films that premiered on the night were Carousel, Baddies, Signs of Silence and Sapiens.
Let’s start with Carousel, the shortest film of the bunch. This film makes you feel as if you’re being teleported to another world. The up-down relationship between a woman and man (played by the wonderful Lydea C. Perkins and Blair Gyabaah) is captured almost perfectly. Narrated by a male and female voice in the background, the two appear to be arguing and going back and forth, round in circles about an event that previously happened. Set in a hallucination dream Impressively, Carousel was shot entirely on an iPhone and the visuals are of a very high standard. Initially, it’s not easy to grasp the concept/premise behind the film upon first viewing however this isn’t much of a negative at all because Carousel is executed well as a whole and commands your attention from start to finish.
Baddies is a gripping film tells the story of Georgia, a young woman who falls into a world of prostitution and drugs. At first, the innocent graduate who is later given the nickname “Genie”, is clearly out of her depth but her more experienced friends Ty and Lacey show her the ropes and reveal the rules to being a ‘baddie’. In practically no time, Genie appears to be much more at home and in control of herself as she relishes in her “bad bitch” persona which can at times feel like she is overcompensating slightly. In addition to the writing and acting, the film is really enjoyable to watch visually. The gritty aesthetic works really well and the dim colour scheme was inspired by the 2013 film Spring Breakers.
The film doesn’t make clear at any point why Georgia chose to go down the prostitution path, so you will need to draw your own conclusions as to why you think that is. In terms of the subject matter being dealt with, I felt that there was nothing preachy about Baddies but it also doesn’t openly glamorise prostitution either.
In the touching Signs of Silence, Eli is a deaf young man who’s crippled by his disability and is tired of not being heard. Things finally start to look up when he meets and falls in love with a beautiful girl, Chesney who seems to really listen to him. Elijah Baker plays Eli and his performance is outstanding. It is so believable. He narrates the whole film as we hear Eli’s thoughts and watch the events in the film unfold. There is something harmonious about Signs of Silence.
Of all the films I saw at the premiere, Signs of Silence felt like it had the biggest emotional impact on me. A lot of people can remember a time in their life when they didn’t feel like they were being heard or understood and this film illustrates that wonderfully while also raising awareness of disabilities.
Quick Q&A with Elijah Baker:
What was the biggest challenge and highlight for you starring in this film?
The biggest challenge was learning sign language because I care so much about getting it right. I had two weeks to learn it so I had to take it very seriously. It wasn’t just common sense. Before I thought if you’re hungry you would rub your stomach, but no! It got a little easier once I realised that you didn’t have to be mega precise with your signs – just like the way we talk – we slur when we talk sometimes and we finish each other’s sentences. You can make a gesture and people know what that means – it’s the same with people who do sign language. They’re not robots.
The biggest highlight for me is having the validation of our sign language consultant, Laura, when she told me that she actually believed I was deaf. Validation from anyone is complimentary but hearing it from someone who met me when I didn’t know any signs to tell me that she believed I was deaf was a huge compliment. I knew that I had done the role justice.
What attracted you to this role?
I found it on IMDB and applied for it but funnily enough, before I applied I was talking to one of my friends about learning sign language, so it’s strange how it happened. I like roles that mean something and I like films with heart. I always want to challenge myself and grow as an actor, as a person and I’ve done both of those things being in this project.
Are there any qualities/personality traits that you and Eli share?
Yeah. Most people [who I’ve spoken to] have felt alone at some point, whether that’s been for 10 minutes, 10 years or their whole lives. I related to him feeling like he was by himself. Eli had his brother [in the film] despite his mother treating him badly but I related to it because I’ve felt alone before. For example, you can be in a crowd full of people but not gelling with anyone because you don’t like their energy, so you feel alone. I remembered the exact feeling and implicated that into the performance.
Five friends are feeling rather introspective in Sapiens. They are all seeking something more out of life and are feeling stuck/lost where they currently are. There are so many questions to ask. For example, one of them is an unemployed graduate who is uncertain and hopeless about his future after completing his degree and one hardly knows what to do following a break up with his girlfriend. Their night out culminates at the seaside, with each of them gaining mysterious superpowers.
Sapiens is funny and portrays friendship (and also love) in a pure and honest way. The quality of the graphics is also very good. There are big plans for this project. Director and writer Remy Moses revealed that we’ll be seeing a Sapiens TV series in the near future which is exciting.
Quick Q&A with Tola Teriba who plays Taz in Sapiens:
Do you and Taz have any similar traits?
I feel like my character is a bit mocky, you saw it in the first scene when he was mocking Sam [Taz’s friend] for being all soft and stuff like that, but you can see how Taz is with Elle [Taz’s girlfriend]. Everything that Sam’s talking about being in love, he’s like that with Elle. We like to act like we don’t fall in love, like we’re the alpha male of the group, but we’re really just big softies underneath, so I’d say that’s the similarity between Taz and me.
What attracted you to this role?
How I got the role, I reached out to Remy and let him know that I’m an actor, that I’d seen his stuff and want to work with him. He said he might have something for me and only a week later, he sends me a short film that inspired Sapiens. I like to think I have a good eye for a good script. I’m not a yes man, you can’t just say,” Tola Teriba I want to work with you” and I’ll say “Yeah”. If your work isn’t of a certain calibre… I believe in quality control. From the first to last page, Remy’s script was amazing. It sold me.
What was the biggest highlight and the biggest challenge in making this film?
Remy said to me, “You’re gonna have to get used to a lot of male-female contact,” and “I’m like, I can do it, I’m a G out here init!” But when you’re actually in that scene, your heart is like boom, boom, boom. Apart from that another challenge was my sickle-cell. We went to this cold mountain top in Birmingham to shoot, and I had a sickle-cell crises not long after that and was in hospital. That’s a challenge I’ve had on every project so I feel like, not necessarily a representative, but someone who shows that people with sickle-cell can achieve great success. We don’t have to just be put in that bubble where we’re put on disability for the rest of our lives. We can achieve something if we really want to and persevere through it.
Hope you like our reviews. As always, feel free to hit us up on Twitter with your thoughts and comments! Follow Remy Moses and Blame The Consumer on Twitter to stay updated with the films reviewed here and future projects coming up.