Monday, September 15, 2008

DC Shorts: Huey

Local filmmaker

Huey is about a paralyzed war veteran sitting by the water, painting a model of a US Army helicopter, and watching the people around him.

In the beginning, a bearded man is sitting on the ground staring at the water and painting a model helicopter. He is distracted to see various people walking by him. A couple meet up and hug. A kid skateboards by. A person on a bike rides through. The man's face remains solemn. He paints a strange version of the US flag on his model helicopter. Then, another bearded man rides by on his wheelchair. The man in the wheelchair stops and stares at the protagonist. They share a moment of quiet staring, and then the wheelchair man continues on. Finally, the twist is revealed: a long shot reveals a wheelchair next to the man on the ground. He leaves his helicopter on the ground and pulls himself up onto the wheelchair and wheels away.

The movie finally makes sense. I wish I could have watched it a second time (not only for better analysis for this post, but because I'd have a better context for each shot). Being that he can no longer walk, the shots of him staring sadly at the couple, the skateboarder, and the biker reveal his jealousy for those who can use their legs.

As for who the second man was? There are two ways to look at it: First, he was simply just another man in a wheelchair, and the two characters were silently bonding over their unfortunate similarity. Second, it's possible that the man was a veteran as well, and the stare was meant as a way of acknowledging that they were each in the same situation.

When it comes to the model helicopter, he paints an odd version of the US flag. This is a symbol for his loss in patriotism for his country, whose war has left him paralyzed. He leaves the helicopter on the ground and wheels away, meaning that he is attempting to move on from his past.

The film has no dialogue. The most prominent sound is the water he is near. You know you've made a good film when you can successfully tell a story based on the visuals alone. Each shot is carefully crafted to convey meaning. No dialogue is needed to reveal the man's pain, jealousy, and depression over his situation. The film is artistic and well made. Most of the shorts I saw in Showcase 6 were good, and I had trouble deciding which one to talk about. However, I realized had the most depth for only being 4 minutes long. The other films were either simple comedies or films that had a very pronounced obvious message that was practically yelled at the audience. This one was subtle and smart and allowed the viewer to make the connections himself/herself.

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