Hello everyone Kevin of Film Fervor here bringing you another Independent film review. Today we go across the pond once more to discuss Director Joseph Wright’s Debut short film Lucidity, Starring Valentin Shlyakhtichev and Charlotte Hayes. Written, Produced and Musical score all by Charlotte Hayes, Matthew Fisher and James Green.
Lucidity is a student film project shot on a micro budget of a mere seven hundred and fifty pounds and is the directorial debut of Joseph Wright. The film centers around a young man who despite having to get up very early in the morning keeps waking up do to the very vivid and expressive dreams he is having. In his dreams he is transported to various colorful locations around Britain and while he tries to center himself his wondering are always interrupted by the sight of a young woman who no matter how he tries he can never quite reach her before waking up. The film is the director’s take on the perceptions of the mind and all of the senses coming together to make our memories and how they change based on the stimuli around us. In this way Lucidity clearly achieve it’s goals will you look past the surface of what you are seeing on the screen and take in the fact that it is really just one memory changed by his mood and his increased tensions about not getting enough sleep before work.
When I first read that it was a student film I was very skeptical of the quality of the film as most student films I have seen have been very badly written and had little to no cinematography, that said however I was very surprised by Lucidity which posses sterling camera work and excellent use of it’s musical score to convey what our protagonist is feeling. The sights of the dreamscape are crisp and colorful with China Town being full of bright reds and a ethereal feeling and is properly subdued and muted in the rainy and oppressed feeling of down town London.
Lucidity stands out even more when you consider it is a silent film and yet manages to bring so much life and emotion to the Dreamer (Valentin Shlyakhtichev) through not only the very expressive gestures and facial expressions of the protagonist but also the wonderful music score that runs the range from hopeful and excited to worried and depressed. It is a testament to both the actor and the musical director that they were able to show more feeling in a scene than most big budgeted movies who actually have their cast say what they are feeling. With that said let me also say that if Valentin Shlyakhtichev can express himself verbally as well as he can with his facial expressions I believe he is going to have a very long and successful career in the film industry and I look forward to seeing him in future projects.
Lucidity stands hands and shoulders above any of the student films I have watched over the years and I personally would recommend this film to anyone who is trying to get into the film industry and use it as a what to do guide in their projects. Even with a low budget, minimal cast and no previous experience at all you can make something that rivals the quality of bigger films if you work hard at it. The cinematography, audio work and even the concept it’s self all work together to bring you something that is not only highly enjoyable but a deep look into the psyche of the human mind and it’s mysterious inner workings.
If Lucidity’s quality is what we can expect from Director Joseph Wright I look forward to any project he does in the future (though on a personal level I hope the next one actually has dialog as I can’t wait to see what sort of emotion he can put into actual words and not just facial expressions and music). I give Lucidity a very high four out of five stars and at a Ten Minute run time it is worth at least a one time viewing but I recommend you watch it more than once so you can pick up the subtle similarities in each dream sequence.