Year Released: 2011
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 15 minutes
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There are some big ideas and concepts at work in GGS, but unfortunately the ambition can’t elevate the production value onscreen. Telling the story of a resistance against an ominous organization known as the Administration, GGS hits some familiar notes, with a feel reminiscent of V for Vendetta, but without the charisma or purpose.
Clem (Bryn Packard) returns with food for his pregnant wife Kat (Jill Oliver) and other members of a resistance of some sort, all under the watchful eye of the Administration’s seemingly everywhere surveillance cameras. Seen as the leader and somewhat savior of the small group, Clem finds himself torn between his loyalty to his wife and his duties, and decides to leave the group to start his family fresh elsewhere. This bothers his slovenly, visibly sick and diseased brother Raj (Derek Ryan), who is suffering from a severe case of sibling rivalry. As the two argue, the Administration pulls up and snatches Kat away. The rest of the short plays out with Kat in prison, Clem on the run and Raj being converted to the Administration’s cause.
The main problem with this short really is the production value not matching the story’s ambition. The resistance appears to be made up of three or four people, all hiding out in a back alley. When the Administration shows up to grab members of the group, Clem is separated from Jill by a simple, slow-closing garage door. For a group interested in stamping out a resistance at its source and getting at the leader of said group, a garage door would likely not be that much of a deterrent (especially when all he does his run out the back door of said garage, turn a corner and he’s back in the alley). On top of the that, the now on-the-run Clem hides on the outskirts of the city, careful to hide his face under his hoodie… that just so happens to be bright orange. In fact, it’s the most colorful outfit of anyone in the short, making him pretty easy to track.
My other issue with the short is that I never got a concrete feeling of exactly what these people were resisting, or why they were under surveillance and in need of being snatched out of the blue. The resistance is poor and hungry, and the Administration seems to be a reason for that status, but it didn’t appear that they were planning any sort of actions or other rebellion type of ordeals. It just looked like they were trying to stay fed. There seems to be a hint of social cleansing involved, and maybe that is the sole purpose, but… the film raises far more questions than it answers, and while that in itself doesn’t necessarily equate to bad storytelling or filmmaking, the lack of info left me wondering why I should even care about what’s going on.
Maybe with a larger budget and the opportunity to really flesh out some of the ideas, there’s something to GGS in a longer format story. As it is, it feels like I got a small chunk of a story without proper connection or context, and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it.
This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.
Posted on September 26, 2011 in Reviews by Mark Bell
If you liked this article then you may also like the following Film Threat articles:
- MORE FUN IN THE BACK ALLEY
- SHATTERED BITS
- THE COMEDY GARAGE
- BACK ALLEY FILM FESTIVAL GETTING READY TO ROLL
- HAVE YOU SEEN CLEM
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