Milk Man at the Beverly Hills Shorts Festival

I won't lie - I'm a bit trepidacious about short films. Too often I've been faced with a filmmaker's innate need to feel "understood" while watching them subconsciously create a film no one can understand in order to feel superior. We've all seen those shorts; the one with the guy in the rocking chair repeating the word "rhubarb" over and over. That wasn't the case with the selection at the 2010 Beverly Hills Shorts Festival, and it certainly wasn't the case when they showcased Milk Man, by James Rumsey of Rum Jam Films.

Following the story of a neurotic voyeur, the character at first comes across as just "the creepy neighbor." Then subtleties unfold. The Milk Man doesn't point cameras out of his windows and peephole simply because he's voyeuristic, he uses cameras as a protective shield between himself and the outside world. Socially awkward, the cameras allow the man to retreat into himself and not experience life first hand. Without giving it away, I will say that director James Rumsey forces this character to confront his demons and realize his true capabilities.

After the screening, the directors held a Q & A session with the audience, and James Rumsey spoke. Humble, despicably good-looking and British, one would think that this man has everything, and simply based his neurotic character on some eccentric he was inspired by in film school. Not the case. He compared the main character to himself, when describing his own experience of breaking free of his safety zone to simply make films for a living. "And I didn't die," he said with a smile.

1 comment:

Lya de Putti said...

Lovely review! I can confirm that he's a very good looking man - lucky me over in London I have seen him this very afternoon!