Wasp: The Searing Desperation of a Forsaken Young Mother

Wasp: The Searing Desperation of a Forsaken Young Mother

Through the years, Mother’s Day films have presented moms both good and bad, and Wasp features a most down-on-her-luck mother in contemporary Britain, an unfortunate mom who certainly isn’t going to be winning any Mother of the Year Awards. Wasp is an acclaimed short film directed by British filmmaker Andrea Arnold, which won the 2005 Academy Award for Live Action Short Film and the Jury Prize for International Short Filmmaking at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. Wasp has been credited as having revived the genre of social realism in British cinema, and this short film has gained the status of a modern classic through Arnold’s sensitive humanistic approach, combined with modern filmmaking techniques.

The film is a searing and intimate portrait of Zoë, a forsaken young woman in contemporary England, who is mired in poverty, but who desperately wants something for herself aside from the oppressive limitations of being a single-mother of four. Despite the responsibility she bears, when a former crush unexpectedly reappears showing his first bit of romantic interest in her, Zoë jumps at the opportunity to go out on a date with him, behaving in painfully irresponsible ways.

On another level, Wasp is a stinging critique of the agonizing worship of the faux-celebrity lives manufactured by today’s pop-media, public relations machines. For Zoë, the Beckhams are the ideal family, the epitome of the fashionably idolized, providing an illusory escape from the harsh realities of her own life. They’re the idealized depiction of a family with three terribly good-looking young sons, a family whose real existence never steps in the way of their living the glamorous life. For Zoë, the Beckhams represent the false pinnacle of desire: never-ending luxury, fashionable motherhood and physical perfection in marriage. But there’s a gut-wrenching sadness to Zoë’s idealized obsession, for she can barely even feed her own children.

It is just phenomenal how much this film gets right; the level of deftness in the writing and presentation is stellar. Having already noted that Wasp has achieved the status of a modern classic, it would be very worthwhile for you to watch this engrossing film. Wasp is a perfect reintroduction to dramatic live-action short films: it is almost mandatory viewing for short film fans. Enjoy.

Wasp: The Searing Desperation of a Forsaken Young Mother

Read more about this film at Short of the Week here.

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God of Love: Cupid’s Semi-Tragic Tale of Magical Darts and Unrequited Love

God of Love: Cupid’s Semi-Tragic Tale of Magical Darts and Unrequited Love

Curfew, by writer/director Shawn Christensen, is a tale of redemption and unconditional family love, which won the 2013 Oscar for Best Live-Action Short Film. This year’s Oscar awards program for live-action shorts was hosted by 2011 winner Luke Matheny, writer/director of God of Love, one of my all-time favorite short films. Ironically, Matheny’s appearance at the awards program gave a new breath of life to his own wonderful film, prompting me to once again present the humorously romantic short film here.

God of Love is a comical, quirky short film by the funny young director Luke Matheny, which won both a 2010 Student Academy Award and the 2011 Academy Award for Best Live-Action Short Film. Matheny is a New York University film school graduate who also plays the lead in his film, which features several pop-jazz standards and a “Woody Allen-type” humor. The film follows the amorous misadventures of Raymond Goodfellow, a lounge-singing championship dart player who is desperately in love with a fellow band-mate, but she only has eyes for his best friend. The crooner prays daily to God for a way for his beloved to fall in love with him. Finally, one evening his prayers are answered when he’s given a box of magical darts with supernatural Cupid-like, passion-inducing powers. Raymond decides to attempt using the darts to make his own love connection, which leads to a comically cosmic questioning of whether even the gods can force love to happen.

God of Love: Cupid’s Semi-Tragic Tale of Magical Darts and Unrequited Love

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