4 Stars
Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 5 minutes
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There is a new one-man-band in indie film, and he is Ohio’s Steve Boatman. In the comic short “Mowing Through Misery,” Boatman plays a frustrated suburbanite at war with lawnmower. Behind the camera, Boatman displays a marvelous level of directing and cinematography skills.

“Mowing Through Misery” is a chapter in the seemingly endless struggle between man and machine. In this case, the tall and lanky Boatman is ready to send his short and squat lawnmower into a grassy feeding frenzy – except that the damn thing won’t start, despite Boatman’s endless efforts. In a dialogue-free display of perseverance, Boatman offers a combination of wide-eyed horror, quite planning and “Expendables”-worthy physical force in his pursuit of a working lawnmower.

Boatman is very funny as an actor, and he gets a lot of mileage out of this relatively simply idea. As a filmmaker (he wrote, directed, produced, edited and filmed this short), his visual sense is more than impressive – particularly the opening credit sequence in which the camera finds its way through the suburbanite’s garden, with an imaginative journey that travels up a thorny stem and ends with a rich, red rose in full bloom. Kevin MacLeod provides an inventive music score that mirrors the anguish of this amusing battle of mechanical power.

Posted on September 7, 2012 in Reviews by

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