Directed by: #TomField

Starring: #AngeloYelichOConnor, #OliverWhiley, #FinnBrick, #StefanMinić

Short Film Review by: Alexandra James

Sacrifice at the Altar begins with a young man, Sergeant James Marion, who awakes alone in a completely empty desert. Rolling sand dunes can be seen for miles but James walks the desert in a state of confusion and is unable to comprehend where he is or how to escape. The short film is broken into chapters and follows James and his journey as the audience oversee his mind slowly crumble through a series of mismatched events. Sacrifice at the Altar was all filmed on an iPhone, however, the creativity and beautiful cinematic shots that have been captured really projects this short film to another level. If this is the kind of work that it being created through just an iPhone, you can only imagine the unique vision that can be produced through professional camera work.

The location for this piece is extraordinary, the vast deserts and the sun beating down on the character really added to the isolated feel within this film. The audience loses themselves within the landscape. As the sun begins to set, the colours melt across the screen and only the protagonists dark figure stands out which further strengthens his seclusion. The music was an interesting choice, I think it can be likened closely to The Twilight Zone, which fits very well with this short film, as the main premise within this series is to leave the audience in a state of confusion until the very end. The main character is often trying to figure out what has happened to him or her and awakes to a world that has changed around them in some way whilst they remain the same. It fit very well with the scenes, however, at times it sometimes came across as too dramatic, a growing build-up of sound would have benefitted in some circumstances.

The storyline was difficult to follow at times and so it was hard to invest within this short film without trying to determine the direction of the narrative. It appears the film attempted to branch out a little too far and overcomplicated large aspects of the scenes. Sacrifice at the Altar attempted that artsy feel and even with the fantastic shots captured, unfortunately, it was hard to follow and breakdown the film’s purpose. The element of confusion needed to be present within this short but not to this extent. Sacrifice at the Altar can be stripped back further to a simpler storyline and invest more in character development. However, there is great potential within director Tom Field, and it would be interesting to see where his vision takes him next.

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