Albatross is a family film shot like a personal home movie in the semi fictional life of Matt Shaw.
Hello everyone Kevin of Film Fervor here bringing you another independent film review, today we will be discussing the 2016 short family drama Albatross written and directed by Theodore Collatos and staring Matthew Shaw, Cassidy Shaw and Dustin Harrington.
Albatross is a family film shot like a personal home movie in the semi fictional life of Matt Shaw. It is about a young girl’s life as she is raised by her uncle. The film passes through several seasons showing their various adventures together from birthday parties to adopting a rescued dog. The girl’s father, (a drugged out punk looking kid who seems to take nothing seriously) shows back up into her life and tries to reconnect with his daughter and be a father to her for the first time.
Albatross is an interesting concept piece in that it is filmed like a home movie and the quality of the cinematography reflects this choice. While crystal clear in most places there are some areas that aren’t quite as perfectly recorded and have slight over exposures that really lends credibility to the fact that you are watching a family movie. Unlike found footage movies where they club you over the head trying to make it feel like an amateur recording Albatross just comes off as natural and genuine at least until it changes focus from the girl and her uncle to her father and his friends. This part just jars you from the experience of the young girls life but does serve to give you a glimpse into why the uncle is raising her.
The Audio quality of Albatross is very well done and that is almost unfortunate. When you are trying to give the impression you are watching a family film you don’t really want perfectly pitched voices and no drop offs. I know it is strange to say this but I think some simulated mistakes in the audio of the voices and the sounds on the screen would have had lent a more credible ambiance to the film. However from a purely production stand point it is masterfully done and the skill of the audio department is very clear.
Perhaps one of the best features of Albatross is the acting. All of the characters (Most of whom are nameless) are very realistic in the speech and actions in the film. There are no exaggerated motions or over emphasis on words or deeds in the film unlike in a standard movie. Everyone seems to genuinely be the person they are playing on the screen be it a aunt or a dead beat dad. If more films could achieve this level of realism in their characters I think the movie industry as a whole would be much better off so I tip my hat to all of the cast of Albatross.
Albatross is an interesting abstract piece looking into a family unit in a natural way that will run the gamut of emotions in it’s short thirteen minute run time. It is a very family friendly film that has some very good production points in it’s favor, that said however this film won’t be for everybody. If you are an aspiring young director looking to do your first film I would suggest you take a look at Albatross as it has everything you need to succeed. I give Albatross a solid four out of five for the skill it took to make a convincing home movie seem entertaining.
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