Screen shot from the film Fallen Angel

The title alone is intriguing, does the “Fallen Angel” relate to an earthbound angel who has descended from heaven, or is “fallen” meant to indicate the protagonist has given into the temptations of human foibles?

The visual narrative produces layers of interpretation within the film – or the grit within the oyster – and resultantly the shots by Director James Harris are textured, nuanced and as complex as you need them to be…

The opening shot of the titular Angel and his countenance portrays a visual tick of existential angst. The overhead road structure of Spaghetti Junction hints at the myriad options of life and where it can take you. The bemused and perplexed expression of the sole actor, one James Harris, the eponymous Fallen Angel, simply captures the conundrum that is life…pretentious? Moi?

As our central character stumbles his way around the urban hell of the brutalist architecture we too are made to question. Our Fallen Angel is met with bollards, barriers and boundaries – all amounting to division and obstacle. Perhaps the Director is suggesting something here?

Upon hearing the electronic muzak accompanying the short film, it is not an epic twist of psychobabble to suggest the soulless music reflects the soul- destroying trope of life, for those that live in quiet desperation. Too dark?

To counter the art of darkness within the pocket-movie there is light in the form of shards of light beaming down from Spaghetti Junction overhead; for the captive audience, these penlights of light are certainly not heavenly.

The narrative-poem spoken over the top of the film is a dark monologue. The words are spoken mechanically and without emotion throughout. The language is self-consciously vague at times and loaded with opportunity to explore the meaning. The line – “In a mirrored maze you can’t escape” – encapsulates the narrative-scenes and possible meaning for me personally. As for our heavenly refugee as he wanders without purpose or destination, “lost in this labyrinth,” “caught between heaven and hell” – you can’t help but feel that this is either a self-indulgent film for the selfie generation or an erudite treatise on a very modern phenomenon. Just like careering round Spaghetti Junction it’s not easy to arrive at your chosen destination.

By: The Swilgate Scuttler

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