Director – Nick Gillespie 9 minutes
Starring – Steve Garry, Phoebe Jones, Alex Rose March.
I first came across Samuel and Emily vs The World at Grimmfest 2013, unfortunately I was unable to watch due to an interview I was conducting. This often happens but luckily after Grimmfest director Nick Gillespie got in touch (thanks to the cards I left everywhere – see they were worth it), and passed on a copy so I could watch and review.
Nick Gillespie has worked with Ben Wheatley on films such as Kill List , Sightseers and A Field In England but behind the camera , so I was very interested to see Nick as a writer and a director here.
Samuel and Emily vs The World is set in a post apocalyptic world where our leads Samuel (Steve Garry) and Emily (Phoebe Jones) are seemingly alone. They drive a vehicle around looking for anything to scavenge but more importantly food, as in a world where everything has died and the landscape is littered with wrecks and decay staying alive is their number one priority. So can they survive ? And if so at what cost?
Short films are perhaps unique in that as a director you have no time to build characters, plot lines or stories. So what Nick has done here is remarkable as after around 3 minutes you can already see that Samuel & Emily are a couple who perhaps don’t really love each other, they argue and in fact seem to get on each others nerves. BUT they are forced together through the situation and are made to work as a team in order to survive ( a metaphor for marriage perhaps) .
The camera work is beautiful and the set design is fantastic as you have a landscape bereft from any normality yet within the carnage of wrecked cars and the like you can see items from previous and happier times like a child’s teddy bear, a tea cup and saucer and some chess pieces. And the sound was wonderful , as there is very little dialogue you are immersed in a soundscape of background noises that come to the fore such as the food cooking on the grill and the radio receiver in the car.
The standard of genre short films this year has been astounding and Samuel and Emily vs The World is right up there with the best. It is 9 minutes of wonderful cinematography, a fantastic story and superb acting .I highly recommend you see Samuel and Emily vs The World as it makes it way around the festival circuit , you will not be disappointed. A triumph 9/10