Written and Directed by Mark J Blackman, Neon starts by throwing you into a phone conversation detailing the issues in the complicated relationship between Mary and Elias.
The conversation plays out in a really interesting way with footage of Mary on the phone talking to Elias alngside being shown Elias’ previous movements, adding to, and tying in with, the explanation that Elias is trying to give. However Elias isn’t able to fully tell his side of the story, only inferring what it is he does, why he is doing it and why they can’t be together. How he feels about Mary is never in question but it is the situation that he is in that is the problem. As we progress, with no real explanation, you are left to work out the reasons behind the relationship not being consumated, and it is this that intrigues the most.
Elias (Joe Absolom) is played as stoic whereas Mary (Kerry Bennett) is very emotive in her acting, even though it is mostly on the phone she gets her feelings across very well. The way that she is willing to fight for the relationship is wonderful and is also enhanced by the intertwined imagery of her normal life that plays alongside the phone call.
Stil Williams cinematography is fantastic, with really polished visuals; rain soaked streets and neon lighting give this both a sombre and slightly futuristic feel whilst all the while being grounded in the reality of the everyday life of Mary. Paul O’Brien’s score works really well to emphasise the action on the screen, provoking the ideal response when required to.
As far as short films go, this one is absolutely fantastic. Great story, great acting, really good aesthetics and tones. So much good stuff packed into the 15 minutes run time. I will be going through as many of MJ Blackman’s back catalogue as I can. Joker’s Pack and MJ Blackman are onto a winner with this one. Keep an eye on them!