Tuesday, 9 February 2016

REVIEW - DISSONANCE (TILL NOWAK)


Measure a movie by what it gets right, not by what it doesn't get at all. But measure it too by what it gets wrong, the challenges it sets itself and fails to meet. Dissonance is a perceptive short, made with genuine artistic endeavour and psychological insight; made also with shortcomings in both fields that undermine its good intentions. Till Nowak's film has aspirations toward beauty and profundity in equal measure - in aspiring to marry these together too, it achieves a level of conceptual consonance that ought to have been served by greater precision in its execution, finer development and, alas, a more generous time frame. Nowak harbours ambitions too grand for a mere quarter of an hour, and technical resources that shortchange the integrity of his impressive designs, which often display a promising accord between his film's message and its method. Would that Dissonance's focus were more acutely drawn, its features less formulaic, its dialogue less didactic, its tone a tad more grounded. There's a real fantasy in the delusions depicted herein, and it's an emotionally resonant one - too many quirks spoil the picture, and Dissonance acquires the unfortunate tone of a silly student project. The beauty and the profundity to which Nowak aspires remain, nevertheless, tainted but intact, and thus so too does his promise. A grander scale to match his grand ambitions ought to serve this filmmaker well. From inwards to onwards and upwards from here!