Directed by: Fanis Topsachalidis
Written by: Fanis Topsachalidis
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HURTING A PIGEON
There's something to be said about any title that features a Metallica song within it's run-time. Even if said film is a little disorienting. "Hurting A Pigeon" showcases life for a simple candle maker who yearns to be much less simplistic. Save that broad statement, this short film from Fanis Topsachalidis, is about as experimental as you can get while retaining the semblance of an actual plot. I write that statement in a very humble way. This film is original enough to "feel" like it has an actual story, without actually having one - save a few key points. This brings me back to my original statement, that this feels experimental. Maybe I can coin a new term. Experimental plus.
Interestingly enough, this "day in the life" format was quite refreshing. We don't always need a story to be epic or world changing. The simplicity on the surface, melding with a few layers of undertones, gives this film the depth of some of the best "formal" short titles available. Our candle maker is having a rough patch in life. Things are just not going his way and even though he is attempting to better himself, and the people around him, things just seem to keep spiraling downward. I know I can relate to this feeling. I'm pretty sure most of us can. It doesn't always have to be about one man alone. Sometimes, it can be about everyone else, through the eyes of one man. That feels like the case here and for all intents and purposes, it worked out quite nicely.
The first thing I noticed jumping into this short film was the drab and flat style Topsachalidis hazes us with. This is the part of town we all understand. Old, worn down, yet fully functional. The life blood of so many, and the future of others still. Time marches on they say - and change "always" comes. We get to see the different views on age from different perspectives. Old and run down doesn't always mean slum, as we see when viewing a church in the film. The general feel for me came back to an old saying. Just because something is old, doesn't make it garbage. Yet some things do need to be torn down and replaced. Making room for the new and shiny. Topsachalidis has an eye for detailing the drab, old and crumbling. We see it from start to finish - and not just with the architecture, but the people themselves. These stunning, at times, visuals - really push this film to another level. Making you forget that what you're essentially watching has no real point or bearing. From a production stand point, "Hurting A Pigeon" is a massive success. All things considered.
From a candle making actor spewing some powerful lines on a dark stage, to what we "think" is a strong-arm tactic to have him vacate his shop, "Hurting A Pigeon" is a dramatic journey into a seemingly pointless existence. A tough blue collar existence. Though clearly random and experimental throughout the journey, one thing is abundantly clear. That "feeling" of nothingness. Both within the environment and the character(s) himself. That feeling that nothing matters. That feeling of hopelessness and then maybe, just maybe, a teeny glimmer of hope. This is probably one of the most entertaining movies I've seen that on the surface - really makes no sense. It's all about the feeling here and that's just fine with me. Sometimes we don't need a story to end all stories. Sometimes all we need is a feeling to get the point across.