Thursday, January 19, 2017

Streamer (2016) The Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Festival 2016

Jared Bratt and Vincent Pun's STREAMER is a hellish portrait of loneliness and not for the faint of heart.

The film has 28 year old Jared (played by co-writer & co-director Jared Bratt) living alone in a city and seemingly unable to connect with anyone. He becomes obsessed with a cam girl he finds on line. Things become complicated when he discovers that the girl lives in the same apartment complex as himself.

STREAMER began life as a dark little short film about a young man trying to sort out what had transpired between himself and a girl. It is one of those haunting films that captures a a moment with absolute perfection- you know that moment where you know something passed between two people but you can't be sure what you think happened actually happened.

Expanding the story out and giving Jared more of a back story and more explanation to the events in the short Brat and Pun have made a film that is in it's way even more claustrophobic and more unsettling than the short that preceded it. This is a hellish little confection that is going to be a tough haul for anyone who has ever had a hard time knowing what other people thought or been obsessed with someone who you couldn't read.

In it's way this is a film that takes any of those moments of doubt you've ever had concerning the people around you and stretched it out to 80 odd minutes. From the weird conversations about why am I bothering to the moments together with the person you want  to be the one this is a film that is laser like in it's precision in depicting what it's like to be an outsider. It nails what it's like to be uncertain about where you fit in in a world and the life of someone who has suddenly become someone important to you. In Jared's words I could hear some of the internal conversations I myself have had when life went to shit.

I squirmed all the way through this film because I could relate to chunks of what was happening on the screen. Like the short that proceeded it STREAMERS has the feel of having been something that either Bratt or Pun lived through. One can not bleed out this sort of emotion onto the screen without having lived it.

Claustrophobically shot we  rarely have a shot where we are not looking at Jared. The camera is always on him - and it does so in such away that even among people he is isolated. He is never allowed to smile, he is always in doubt, and we feel it .

Bratt's performance is truly amazing since he never lets up. There is a never a moment where you question that he is doubting everything around him. Life is pain- either the pain of being alone or the pain of not knowing. Bratt makes it all real by doing the one thing most actors today never do- and that is sell the performance with his eyes. In scenes after scene and shot after shot we believe that we can see inside his eyes and see the gears ticking.

There is more to the film, more to the plot but its the loneliness that hooked me and crushed me and made me feel things I didn't want to.

STREAMER is a gem of a film.This is one of those small scale films that you are going to have to be on the look out for, but will be so worth the effort when you finally connect with it.  The film had it's World Premiere at the  Blood in the Snow Film Festival this past November and is now heading off for the festival circuit- if you see the film is playing near you make an effort to go see it because this is going to be one of those films you'll ever be able to shake.

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