Whyrl (whyrl) wrote,

Pencil Needs Sharpening

A Pencil in the Microwave
Akira no Ryuu Pictures

Cast: Graf Yte Pencille, Mike Roe-Matt, N_True's Hand.
Directed by: n_true
Rated: R (medium level violence, improper use of appliances)
Running time: 20 secs.

(Watch movie) 3.16 MB

From its opening scene depicting a suicidal middle-aged writing implement (evocatively portrayed by Pencille) in the dank slums of modern appliance, through to the closing freeze frame panorama, Pencil vibrantly captures the struggle of the modern artist in contemporary Germany. Young director n_true takes us through the tragic end of graphit (sic) and eloquently portrays the perils that the creative individual must confront in the face of the digital empire. In a recent interview, he shares his thoughts behind this epic:

"If a microwave already induces such an extreme effect ... then what the hell will happen? Whoa!!!"

N_True goes on to say, "Either this could solve mankind's [...] problems for good, or it'll destroy the planet Earth." He says he left the answer open-ended, letting the audience make up their own mind.

This film was shot ambitiously in a single take, unscripted, with only two rehearsals. The cinematography lends itself to a very powerful, edge-of-your-seat experience. My favourite sequence is as the camera pulls back from the claustrophic interior of the sparsely decorated set (the addition of stains to the plate give it a very authentic feel), to the ominous, terminal Shutting Of The Door. This is where the supporting role by Hand really comes into his own.

The suspense is skillfully raised with cutting-edge digital visual effects, juxtaposed with a dark interlude before the film builds towards its ultimate climax. I won't spoil the surprise here, however if you are unfortunate enough to have seen the teaser for the film on the official site then it sadly has been spoiled for the viewer.

The performances are convincing however I felt the lead actor could have provided more spark to his delivery. Otherwise it was brilliant to watch. The soundtrack opted for a subdued silence which complements the suspense but leaves the audience wondering.

Overall, I felt that the themes could have been explored in greater depth and the obvious spoiler left me wondering at the wisdom of the film's marketing. It will also leave more seasoned viewers disappointed, however Pencil is heartily recommended to viewers new to the genre.

3 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Whyrl Redfeather

Official site
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