Ollie Roozen

About me: 
dreadfully distinct against the dark | Abberyne 2018 | Shemnight Mamylan 2019 | Student of MistaTeas, my second biggest hero after Kogonada

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This film does have its weaknesses, it's of course not perfect, and it doesn't really extend beyond shallow comedy.

It's also the most joyful, funny-tear-inducing, enjoyable film in 48hours this year. My first time watching it had my friends and I jumping in our seats clapping and cheering with massive smiles on our faces. This is Wellington, this is joy, and it is DISGUSTING that this film did not win best use of wind. I mean what the heck?!

Thank you so much for making this film.

I finally got to see this at the national finals. Chillybox back again with a fittingly hyped entry.

The first shot had me floored. I was so ready to call this film the best of the night. The first two minutes or so were like entering into, I feel, the future of film making. The use of rhythm and the reinvention of 'the dance movie' worked incredibly well. There was incredible creativity and impressive use of technical elements. The music building with the organ, I was ready.

And then... the movie fell flat on its face. The ending, in my opinion, is unacceptably anticlimactic. This is why A Familiar Feeling (a film which otherwise does not live up to this one) probably won -- it had a much more striking note to end on. This film is lyrical and dances between moments and, though it often has issues with portraying clearly what is happening, has found a way to tell a story while treading the fine line of contemporary and experimental. But the ending was so bad I genuinely thought there was some kind of production mishap and you had to piece together the stuff you had already. Maybe with all the black screen, that was really the case? The laugh was, of course, forced.

I had a end-of-the-world kind of hunch to this movie. Perhaps it's cliche, but perhaps some kind of more supernatural 'figure' would have worked better. A bright light perhaps. Something that fits better with the idea of wind striking at the dead of midnight.

Finally, I get to review this. You can imagine me rubbing my hands together in anticipation.

This is an excellent script. Unquestionably. Good to see Beth Walsh back at it again. She gave a very confrontational performance this year as last, and I felt she was the foundation behind the film's control of tension. I'm going to level and say I did not enjoy this as much as The Style, for The Style had much more style. This was a penetrating character study into the realities of a relationship, somewhat juxtaposed against the finality of the world coming to an end. It was very simple in concept, somewhat simple in cinematics and overall execution, but the writing is where the finer details flourish. Your work is observational, a pretty thing to be looked at, admired, and the sheer realism of it inspires meaning. The Jenga tower was no accident, right? It did not fall down. Daniel's "but that's none of my business" pin, eerily fitting.

Daniel Mathers, now I think of it, was my biggest issue with this film. He had no chemistry, his performance felt flat, and the only thing I am more displeased with was the decision to cast him. I swear to god he was playing himself. Your film, so deeply focused on the connection between these two characters and the realistic portrayal of their picnic, was let down by my utter disbelief that they could ever actually be together.

Rather novel getting to see my hometown on film. You just didn't quite convince people. The film is what it is, and on the whole there seems to be a complete lack of character motivation, of consistency, though the attempt to weave the jokes into the narrative is excellent writing and the beginning of something brilliant. What I mean by 'failed to convince' is that, as AJ so valiantly notes, it seems to neglect the craft -- little attention paid to cinematographic nuances, emphasis of sound, or tailoring of soundtrack. When you really break it down, that is how your story is told.

People talk about the story as being the most important thing in your film, but film, like the camera, is a machine. A sum of its parts, there truly is no story without the art of telling it.

This movie has gripped my attention. It seems like the exact kind of thing I would want to make -- and you, having made it, have shown me all the flaws that so often come alongside a film that is so auterial, so arthouse, so deeply emotionally inspired. There's a lot to talk about, and I think I want to work through the film with you here, in the pursuit of uncovering that fine line between the movie in our minds and the movie in the audience's eyes.

Genre. Nature run amok. Others have called the movie out on this and I can understand why, however I can definitely see a lot of ways that it can be interpreted. The disease that Quinn gets at the start of the film -- is that not nature running amok on this relationship, and that man's life? I think some of the other reviewers missed that point -- but that exact aspect, the fact they missed it, is just as much a problem with the film as it is with them. The audience, I guess, was not expecting your unique take on nature run amok -- and perhaps you failed to give enough explicit screen time to this idea of the disease (if that is indeed what you were going for).

But that brings me onto this second idea. This idea of literalism, or realism, or whatever you want to call it. After the climax, when Quinn sees Eliza in the dark, it's implied that she's a vision of sorts, she isn't really there. Is this a kind of personification of nature, perhaps, death coming to take him? It very well could be so - and if so - it puts your film fully in the scope of nature run amok. But that's the thing, it's so subjective, so deeply subjective, and I'm not sure this is what the audience is looking for. In my own films, I've had a tendency to do the same thing -- to shy away from ever telling the audience exactly what is happening. It's an extension of the whole, 'show, don't tell' philosophy, but when it comes down to it, the audience wants to know what's going on -- THEN they want to think about it. And this creates a tricky dilemma for your ending sequence, because a surface-level interpretation tells us that nothing happens. A deeper interpretation, well, who knows.

I've watched you film several times now and each time I feel it much more strongly. The emotions you are trying to conjure, as another reviewer pointed out, are definitely difficult to earn in five minutes. With the complexity of your narrative, and the relative 'flatness' of the music and cinematography, your challenge is made even greater. But I think, when you really pay attention, there is a lot going on here. The cinematography is not flashy but it is purposeful (and extremely impressive for a duo team). There's these incredible moments -- moments with flickers of light -- that feel so accidental yet so purposeful and immediately evoke images of A Ghost Story.

Let's talk about sound. Fuck ADR. Who cares about the sound quality? I can hear the lines well enough. Of course it isn't perfect, but in the climax of the film, the strong ambiance was really powerful and builds quite a bit of tension. The music in the film is quite good too, fitting at the very least. In terms of acting, I thought that Eliza was played perfectly convincingly, though Quinn, while being otherwise pretty spotless, has one moment when he makes the phone call where he literally sounds like a monotone Adam Driver. A little underwhelming for such a climactic moment.

I feel a great level of attention to detail in the film, that comes through in a way that people don't expect. This might be me looking too far into things, but shots which might otherwise seem throwaway, feel like they have intentionality behind them. The short sequence where Quinn wakes up and looks out the window -- the flashbacks, and the reflections, seem connected. The scribble on the wall, half-lit in the low sun, the theme of white, coldness, nothingness, white like the blank page of Quinn's notebook and the flashes of light as Eliza approaches.

My media studies teacher always asked me, when I was making a film, who my target audience was. Now I really understand why. I'm sure you love your film, and it has managed to reach me too. But were you aiming for wider 48 hours appeal? The wider 48hours audience that expects a solid depiction of genre, a strong, fast-paced narrative, a confronting mixture of drama and comedy? I guess I shouldn't presume to tell you what you should aim for, but I think it's worth taking a step back, to find that fine line, where the most amount of people can share in your vision. Then again, maybe it's all the conventional beats you miss that make this work so appealing to me. Oh it's so easy to over-think.

Your film is not nothing. Your film feels. Now you just need to find a way for it to talk.

I enjoyed this movie somewhat but I guess it was on a somewhat surface level. The elbow pads on that guy's hoodie are hilarious. All the jokes about Britney were... interesting. The double take, while being so far the most obtrusive I have seen in any film, was HILARIOUS. I really enjoyed the slurriness of the first two characters, and as others have supposed, it could've perhaps taken on a Spud from Trainspotting kinda vibe.

I feel like I need to give recognition to your VFX because that was certainly probably harder than anyone gives you credit for. That said, the clock ticking felt like a bit of a... cop out, somewhat, despite the film actually conforming to the prompt.

There's not a lot I can add to from the other reviews, but there are a few main points I want to hit on. Firstly, I definitely agree with the sentiment over the color grading. There was just something off about it -- it's clear that you were intentionally going for grim, scary, whatnot, but the grade felt obvious and almost oppressive. Whatever camera you were using, it was also considerably over-sharp, and it really brought out the quality issues in the recording I think. It's tricky to make comments on the cinematography because it felt like everything about the camerawork was trying to hide what was actually happening, which somehow didn't work for this setting in a library.

The split-screen idea as a solution to keep to real time was pretty cool (not sure why you were DQed, but that part I liked), and the credits, while mayyybe being "self indulgent" were at least very eye-catching. Sadly more eye catching than the rest of the film perhaps, and that is exactly the sort of thing you don't want to hear.

I liked that you were whispering in the library. It felt real, in a film which seemed so adverse to realism.

Seeing this on the screening room reminded me that I was meaning to review it. It stood out considerably as a sitcom parody -- in this way I very much enjoyed it. The 'twist' of the cameraman being shot was fairly interesting, however the fact that the film is basically 3 shots does get accentuated by this aspect. The writing, I guess, is a little flat too, with not much going on beyond the use of sitcom tropes and the profanity of the disgruntled actor.

I can also see a number of issues with sound peaking, and a bit of a weird interaction between the high-key lighting and the main actress's makeup. But that said, the fact you used high-key lighting otherwise so effectively is really impressive, and the imitation of the retro sitcom format is actually very convincing. On that point you guys should be proud. Post-credits granny had everyone laughing. I enjoyed this, I must say, even if it was largely for the novelty.

I respect this entry into the longstanding debate over the health effects of Coca Cola. I liked how bone white the lead actress was in the present-day sequence, quite characteristically unsettling. Overall a rather flat movie, but with some reasonable camerawork, and a pretty convincing party set. I can imagine what that must've been like. There's a lot to respect in this movie, not the least of which is how hard it is to even make anything in 48 hours, but as far as films go this didn't really reach out to me.

All I was thinking while watching this was, wow, there is a lot of antagonistic swearing in this - the kind of stuff that we were scared enough to cut from our own film this year - so I'm happy you guys made it in. Quite a gritty film right up until the end, where it really takes on a transcendent power, becoming one of the funniest of the night in an instant. I can still remember that face so clearly. Brilliant, although so much of the movie lives in the shadow of the final moment.

Really exceptionally cute. Family team? I wrote one word in my notes: "love". That is what I feel here. So cheerful and with such a genuine flourish, and yet so unexpected! The Wellington City Council! Pirates! The two combined! It's so wonderful that I cease to be able to accurately describe it. In terms of actual film making, sure, perhaps it isn't the cleanest or the most controlled; but the script is incredible and wonderfully creative and the acting is lively. This was a film I thoroughly enjoyed.

I thought this film was really quite beautiful, and well executed. The concept is excellent, and though some aspects (like the plant moving on the sill) were perhaps a bit contrived, and the film lacked a little meaning, with the help of an INCREDIBLE ambient soundtrack the film really pulled itself together. Amazing, such effective creation of tension. Everyone needs their own Japanese peace lily.

Slightly unusual indeed that this film featured Lana Del Rey. And definitely there were a ton of issues with this work. But there's something about it that spoke to me on some level, a semblance of style or meaning or perhaps even beauty. The blinky-light machine really spoke to me visually, and I found many of the shots to be, though clearly forced, somewhat beautiful.

I see a lot of my own work in this, and a lot of my own downfalls. I also sense the direction, or the desire, that drives this. I think you should persevere, for though this film may be a mess, with practice things will become clearer.

It took me a really long time to bring this film back to memory. But I remember the jokes in this hitting their mark, and it being a good satire of... something. I'm really sorry I can't remember this better but I'll try to come back and rewrite this once it goes onto the screening room.

The ending with the circle of 'haters' was quite striking, and some of the cinematography was frankly rather impressive, but sadly the film had a complete lack of consistency, especially in the sound department. Genre, whatever, purely in terms of the film itself, it just didn't hold itself together (despite having moments that were really encouraging). If I remember correctly, there was pop music in this right? That seemed a bit weird. Put the camera in manual focus and exposure next time and you'll have the next Blade Runner 2049 ;)

Looping time travel: we're seeing the same thing too much. With unimpressive sound and cinematography, it starts to lay this film's issues bare. There were a number of great moments, with the leek and the successful retelling of the joke, but they were merely chuckles in a five minute period of mild pain. How many times do I need to see a man spring out of bed already wearing a suit and bow tie before it gets old? In a short film, only once. I hate being this harsh on films, and I should say that this is merely my personal reaction to the film. I have to wonder if there is a way, perhaps less formulaic, that looping time travel can be executed. I feel like most approaches to it are too formal and structured, as though at the moment of the first rewind, we already know how the rest of the narrative will progress.

THE POWER OF (what is presumably) PHILLIPS HUE! Man oh man the lighting was crazy, and the cinematography so beautiful. One of my team members leaned over to me after the film and asked where the overhead shot was - and admittedly it was easy to miss - but I presume it was the one where the watch downloads the virus. Honestly an incredible film, with amazing music and cinematography (have to say it twice for emphasis) and acting. Perhaps everything is best summarized with 'tone'. The tone was clear, it was strong, it was striking. The narrative ended on a troubling note, a note that for a 48hour film a lot of people aren't ready for. I like this. I like this a lot.

Treacle, is how I would describe this film. Trying to get at the narrative through some rather poor cinematography and sound was a challenge for me. The concept and narrative itself I trust are fairly decent -- and I got a good sense that the people behind this film were having fun. I don't want to harp on this film too much, but my gut reaction was that it just really felt flat for me.

This film looked good. And was pretty polished. And had good acting and set design. But for me it was the perfect example of the problem that looping time travel movies have -- we're seeing the same thing too many times. The concept in itself... I'm unsure as to its viability, but this film, I felt, was just way too repetitive. I don't want to see everything twice or three times, even if the character reacts differently. I think looping time travel has to be treated differently, where we see something new every time, and while there were things I progressively noticed, this film was frankly one of the hardest to watch. It was made worse by the several other similar concept films in the heat.

A great concept with a great tone, and the practical effects to back it up. Good job finding a way to get the spicy drone shot in there. Some impressive cinematography and honestly just a fun film overall. Not too much to say beyond that really, I have to admit that I didn't personally connect with it as much as others.

I think this was a school team? In any case, I feel like this film really captures a school team's spirit. Low budget looking, often lending to further comedy, with hilarious moments. Kicking the book had everyone laughing. Gratuitous V product placement. THE BUSH IS SHAKING. This film had a flourish, a flourish visible even in the rather dark beginning and endings. It's a flourish I admire, even if the filmmakers aren't ready for prime time just yet.

I started slumping down in my chair and hiding myself behind my jacket for this one. There's something so unsettling about a character who is dressed up to be something they're not. Of course the film was a little lackluster technically speaking but the set was better than a moderately untidy flat. The laptop guy was quite hilarious. This film hit me in a different way from all the others and for that I must commend.

First, the good: cinematography is very clean and colors are nice, and I can only imagine you had a very saucy camera with much bit depth and dynamic range. But I'm not so sure on the concept, I didn't quite follow it, and though it felt more fresh than the several other films with similar concepts in the heat, I think it was sadly a little flat. Perhaps gratuitous? It did, indeed, come off as a couple of mates having a good time -- and this is perhaps the most technically excellent example of that.

Really quite incredible. The dolly/slider shots are what sell this, and overall the cinematography was excellent. Use of keyframed motion in post was smooth. High concept, and the concept was fresh (enough). The reveal of the dog was expected, but the narration was the real kicker. The acting was overall very good but the guy with the beard was spectacular. The audience engagement was incredible and honestly this is a top film. Incredibly effective and the only thing it's missing was animating the dogs mouth :)

This film was so much fun, and you really took the musical genre and ran with it. I was incredibly impressed by the location you filmed at, it looked incredible. Acting was appropriately over the top, especially from the guard, and really carried the film along. I can't imagine how hard it is to write and record three or so songs in under 48 hours. The masks were a really cool too, and work well as part of the motif for the film
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As has been pointed out already, the cinematography was a bit hit-and-miss, with some shots being very well executed while others fell a bit flat. It appeared like it was shot on a phone too; one specific detail I would've changed is that it would probably have been better to focus on the gun when it was pulled, and not the person pulling it. But of course phones don't pull focus too well.

Overall this was an incredibly quirky and fun film (with a great title of course) that is very enjoyable.

I found this film extremely unsettling, but no doubt that was part of the idea. By far this film's strongest aspect is the cinematography; never before have I seen camerawork so expertly tunnel-visioned onto the sheer anger, sadness, and guilt of a single face. The high focal length that stayed consistent throughout had a tendency to lift shots into the abstract; and it was here that I found the film the most powerful. The flat white sky, filmed with no horizon or land to draw a reference, indeed appears as though the character is floating through 'the light'.

Beth Walsh's performance was indeed on point and entirely convincing. The makeup and colour grading really brought out her distress. I don't quite understand why Death was cast as a kid, but I'm sure it fits into something.

I'd say that the film's weakest point is the sound. The deep, constant rumble was well-placed and lifted the tone immensely, however it lacked any dynamic qualities, and its fading in/out and mixing came across as rather careless for such a dramatic element. The dialogue had a bit of audible background noise but outside of that it was crisp and tight.

An instant classic.

This was interesting, but I felt as though the film couldn't make up its mind as to what its message was. The plot twist at the end kinda proved to me that there wasn't anything for it to say.

But, that said (pun intended), this was very well executed with impressive acting and more impressive comedic timing. You had me on the edge of my seat wondering what, exactly, was happening; and that's the mark of a good film. But as I said, for what?

I was constantly flipping between 'scoffing' and 'extremely impressed' and admittedly that unnerved me. This film is far too brilliant for its own good, and I see real heart behind it. The effects on the trumpet were cute (for lack of a better word) and the cinematography was impressive. As others have said, it's not that much of a musical, but who cares?! It's a film.

My team member said to me after the film that it would've been hilarious if the guy walked into the girl's bathroom at the end there. Indeed, what this film was lacking was comedy. That said, in an ironic The Room kind of way, this film is pretty funny; the ages of actors are incredibly skewed relative to their characters, almost every interaction is completely unrealistic, and the narrative itself is so stunted that perhaps its us that forgot to laugh.

What I can say about this film is that the ending gripped me very strongly. Brilliantly executed, perhaps despite what was leading up to it. The setting, the sound, the acting, it was on-point at the end there. I also enjoyed the unique narrative. Our team spent weeks seeking permits to fly our drone in Christchurch so I can imagine flying the drone for your film would've been a royal pain in the backside.

This film did stand out to me in the heat. I was impressed by the time travel effects, and was very pleased with the tight-knit premise and execution. I was also impressed by the stabilized camerawork that seemed to present itself from time to time. Good acting, too.

I think this film is an exemplar for straight-to-the-point writing. In our own film we very much suffered from a lack of this.

I was impressed by this film's competency with horror-genre conventions. It was quite scary. The ball was a good object to personify. Outside of the horror though, the film did fall a little flat. If this film had more dynamic cinematography and a underlying story behind the ball, it would be perfect.

I'm not sure I quite understand this film. It had brief glimpses of other works; Brokeback Mountain and High School Musical; but between those it just seemed a bit... dry. The extended take in the principal's office was extremely well-framed and laid out, but it wasn't quite dynamic enough, I think, to warrant the time it received.

It showed ambition though.

Impressive production value and acting; came across almost exactly like professional-level television. Narratively speaking nothing was held back, but I did feel the slimey tentacles of television-budget-restrictions grasping at this film's cinematography. I was repelled and attracted simultaneously. Oh god, should I even say that?

Well... crap.

Something I asked myself when watching this film was whether the dialogue was awkward because the acting was lackluster, or, was this how people really talked? This prompted quite a bit of contemplation but I suspect that wasn't entirely related to the narrative at hand. 11/10 twist ending and I couldn't have asked for a better film to end the heat on.

I found this film rather boring, sadly. It has things going for it, but it's let down by the fact that it's literally four people having a conversation around a table; and for one reason or another, the only effort to add any drama to it is a smokey, silhouetted shot of the game master. I think that, in choosing to shoot your entire film in your living room with the curtains closed, you need to tell yourself "hey, we need to make sure this is visually interesting". Because that is what film is all about. And an effort was made, but I don't think it was enough of an effort.

I know I sound really harsh but I felt this film could've been so much better, and I implore you all to learn, and persist. The smoke shot really did blow me away, and the acting was impressive; there is potential for something great.

I don't know what I was expecting, but I wasn't expecting this. It'd be fair to say that there were "better" films that evening, but there's just something about this that I can't shake. I feel a beating heart in this film. I feel the film makers, stronger than anything I've seen before. The skinny-dipping and the defecation are merely proof of the love for film making that flows through every frame.

I don't have too much to say other than that I still cannot believe this film was done in 48 hours. True to the theme, it feels as though it spans decades. It's one to remember.

Of course you don't often see an animated film, so I was interested right from the start. If the narrator didn't naturally have that Russian accent, then I must say that I am very, very impressed.

What I found was that Utka's cute crayon-drawn world was deceiving, for its visual design is impeccable. The cat especially; diamonds everywhere; thin, slippery lines. Spectacular.

The music was also a strong point, and alongside the brilliant narration, this film really had a flow that gripped me right the way through. I want to say that the animation should've been a little more ambitious, but choosing animation in the first place is ambitious enough.