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A solitary young girl is forced to come out of hiding to face the town bullies, but the thing she fears the most is herself.

10 – 15 | 2012 | Australia | Horror | Live-Action | Supernatural

Lonely and mysterious, Ruby is very different from other girls her age: we don’t know much about her, besides the fact that she lives an isolated life with his father and that she has to hide whenever she wants to go to the city. There is something strange about her, she never says a word and she has frequent nosebleeds. An unfortunate encounter with a group of violent bullies will reveal Ruby’s true nature.

What seemed to be an intimate portrait of a difficult childhood takes a quick turn, evolving in a fantasy story with shades of horror. The strength of the short lies in the skillful way in which director and screenwriter have combined such different registers together. The delicate and intimate tone, which owes much to the scenery, that projects the characters in an almost out of the world non-place, creates an uncharted territory for what can be considered the simple story of a little, inexperienced superhero who’s unable to understand her powers. The incredible force that Ruby can unleash is terrifying – but it is more to herself than for those around her. The girl’s tenderness and desperate need for affection act as a perfect counterpoint to the sudden and uncontrollable violence of which she is capable. The effect is unsettling and disorienting, and the warm and rarefied tones of both soundtrack and cinematography sharpen the contrast with the action taking place before our eyes. This new and unique look at the “superpowers” trope – unseen before, with the exception of the Swedish film Let the Right, perhaps the only precedent in the genre – makes Yardbird one of the most interesting short films out there.

Presented in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and later in festivals such as Tribeca and in the Generation section of the Berlinale, the film marks renowned video and commercials director Michael Spiccia’s debut in the short films world. Yardbird was produced by Sydney based Bridle Path Films, a director’s collective that was founded in 2011 by Spiccia and Julius Avery (the short’s screenwriter), active in the production of music videos, short films and, recently, feature films: Son of a Gun, starring Ewan McGregor, has just been released in Australia and will be distributed internationally in the upcoming months.

Flavia Ferrucci

Flavia Ferrucci

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