My Wrongs 8245–8249 & 117 Jul 31, 2017 15:12:39 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Jul 31, 2017 15:12:39 GMT -5
My Wrongs 8245–8249 & 117 (2002)
Directed by: Chris Morris
Directed by: Chris Morris
The surreal wackiness of My Wrongs 8245–8249 & 117 filmmaker Chris Morris employs over the course of ten briskly paced minutes stand to reason his strengths as someone with an unconventional eye for timing and plot structure. With this short film, which premiered at the London Film Festival in 2002 before being aired regularly on Channel 4 - a British public-access network, Morris shows how adept he is at handling a cacophonous visual and sound style as well as creating something as unique as it is damning in such a brief amount of time.
Adapted from a monologue on a radio series known as Blue Jam, the short revolves around a man in his late twenties/early thirties (Paddy Considine) who must look after his friend Imogen's house and her dog Rothko while she's away. To assure he doesn't lose Rothko on their walk, the man fastens the dog's leash to his neck so the dog can drag him through the crowded city streets and parks. Rothko (voiced by Chris Morris) taunts the man as the man repeatedly informs perplexed observers that the dog is his lawyer and exists as someone who helps him address and right all of his "wrongs" in the past. The short, as indicative of the title, informs us that we're up to wrong #8245 and we'll look all the way up to #8249 - and double back to #117 - all in a matter of a few frantic minutes.
Morris' style of dark, sardonic humor reminds me of something you'd see without flinching on Adult Swim in the present day. Since our protagonist is dictated by Rothko, there is an awkwardly funny moment inside a church amidst an ongoing baptism, where the dog demands his human servant to say some utterly nasty things to the priest and the mother of the aforementioned baby. "You'd better say sorry," Rothko tells him. "For what?," he nervously asks. "For what you're about to do."
Morris works with cinematographer Danny Cohen to create a film that's kaleidoscopic in a surrealist sense, mixing a vast array of lucid, primary colors to correlate with the film's barrage of strange, ongoing events. As Morris' story builds with an increasing sense of peculiarity and situational zaniness, Cohen's visuals move forward to pop and almost entirely contort the picture into something twisty and kinetic. The editing is fluent, the music fits well, and the short has an attitude that suits its style.
My Wrongs 8245–8249 & 117 is a little bit odd when it comes to interpreting its central message. Maybe it shows the bondage that insecurity and vulnerability places on a person. Maybe, like some of the great surrealist works, it's simply an ode to style and auteur craft. However, there are many "rights" in Wrongs' examination of a truly strange premise that work for it that couldn't work for many other, similarly conceived projects.
Starring: Paddy Considine. Directed by: Chris Morris.