Director – Mat Johns 25 Minutes
Starring – Tracy Sheals, Alan Peter Finch, Francesca Turton, Neil Ball.
Mat Johns has been making short films in and around Manchester for the last few years and I came across a couple of his films last year. Run is a 7 minute short that is in the top 5 shorts I have ever seen. It is a beautiful, haunting and ultimately incredible piece of cinema that has stayed with me ever since and I still find it incredibly hard to watch now. So when I found out that the World Premier of Mat’s new film was on the Grimmfest 2013 preview night I was made up.
So Radio Silence is the story of a woman named Elaine Barrett (Tracy Sheals) who is alone and barricaded in her house seemingly after a zombie apocalypse. Her days are ticked off on a calendar and each day she has the same routine – she rises at 6 then brushes her teeth, later she exercises and eats some canned food from a kitchen cupboard and at midday Elaine fires up an old CB Radio and broadcasts for an hour , in which she asks if there is anyone listening and gives her address and details. Then for the following 5 hours Elaine sits listening to the static of the CB receiver awaiting a reply! This is a routine that is repeated daily and as the days continue to be ticked off important dates like birthdays and anniversaries come and go and Elaine finds that her mental and physical strength is in decline. But one day she hears a voice ! Could this be salvation after months of Radio Silence?
Again Mat just hits the spot with another perfectly paced piece of cinema. Radio Silence is slow, unnerving and raw, an initial feeling of hope is slowly replaced by anxiety and claustrophobia.
Tracy Sheals is just wonderful , such a raw and powerful performance . The setting is a small, stark and bare house yet Tracy brings it all to life in a way very rarely witnessed.
Radio Silence is again up there with Mat’s best work and brings more to it’s 23 minutes than some directors bring to careers.
See more of Mat’s work here – https://vimeo.com/matjohns
And watch Run by Mat Johns here – https://vimeo.com/52426876