Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bye Bye Now- DC Shorts Fest

Bye Bye Now/DC Short Film Festival
Directors Aideen O'Sullivan and Ross Whitaker
15 Minutes/Ireland

This is a sweet little documentary about the phone box. The film starts with two young men narrating the story of a phone box that's about to be torn down (by them) and a woman who is telling them that they can't because of it's historical value. When asked the last time she'd used a phone box, she couldn't recall.

The advent of technology is both a curse and a blessing for the folks in rural Ireland. Some celebrate the phone box, like a sweet couple featured half way through the film who had been together for fifty years. He would leave (military, I believe) and then by letter, which she generally received on Tuesdays, he would tell her of his plans to call on Thursday. So she would travel, by foot, through storm to the closest phone box-- at least a days travel-- where she would wait for his call. Then, the two could only talk for five minutes because of the cost. They decided it might be smarter for them to get married, instead.

Another man, along with a friend, locked themselves inside the phone box in their little town in protest of demolition.

It's funny how the folks in this documentary are nostalgic for the phone box, but toward the films end, when asked when the last time they'd used a phone box was, the answer was years.

Not a lot can be said about a phone box, but in the fifteen minutes of this film, I learned a great deal, walked away feeling grateful for my cell phone and for modern technology, but swept up by the nostalgia created by these silly little telephone boxes. The film truly entertained! It's about letting go of the past, embracing the present, but it's also about how the past defines the present and tells the story of who we are. Think of going back to your hometown, wherever it may be, surely there stands a landmark of some kind that is a part of your life's history. Now, think for a moment if your mother called or in the news you heard that they'd torn it down, demolished it. Your heart skips a beat, just for a moment. That's what Bye Bye Now did for me.


rosswhitaker.tv said...

We're glad you enjoyed our film!!

haley schattner said...

This film sounds really interesting. I love technology, and as I lover, I also love the origins of what has made technology today. As you mention in your piece, you felt for your cell phone afterwards, I think I would have done the same. Look how far we have come--from a box with a phone connected to a chord, to a small wireless box device.