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Person to Person

A New Yorker's daily life is halted as he finds a stranger girl sleeping on his apartment's floor.

15 – 20 | 2014 | Comedy | Human Nature | Live-Action | USA

Back in March 2014, New Yorker critic Richard Brody wrote an article about the role of shorts in the film industry (we previously reported on it, here). This reflection stemmed from Person to Person, an American short  that is finally online after a long and successful run in the international festival circuit (Sundance, SXSW, Berlinale, New Directors / New Films, AFI and many others). It’s not surprising that this particular short led to bigger reflections on the medium itself: technically it’s on par with any US indie, and, unlike many shorts that look like – and want to be – features, Person to Person is a quintessential short film that resolves itself in its own short form, and flawlessly so.

The short film explores a peculiar day in the life of a young New Yorker. The morning after a party Bene finds a stranger sleeping on his floor. When she wakes up, the girl will not want to leave. This  little mishap becomes an excuse to investigate the daily life of the protagonist, his attitude towards life, his habits and his space. Bene owns a record shop, has a lot of friends, is loved by everyone – the neighbors, the regular customers of the store – he’s a positive and outgoing person. He seems,  however, to have hidden sides, almost hostile, that will gradually emerge during his interactions with the unwanted guest. The narration itself evolves along with the attitude of the protagonist: what appeared to be a light comedy acquires more introspective, almost existential shades. The tone, however, remains the same, the development of the story occurs in a fluid and homogeneous way, it’s never forced.

As in a well-written short story, simplicity and clarity are the foundations on which Person to Person is built on. The choice to shoot in 16mm and a soundtrack composed of refined 60s-70s soul songs completes the product, making it one of the best (and most acclaimed) shorts of 2014. The protagonist of the short is not an actor, but a friend of the director who seems to have inspired the character. Dustin Guy Defa is an american actor, director and editor who has many shorts (documentary and narrative) to his credit and a feature film, Bad Fever

Flavia Ferrucci

Flavia Ferrucci

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