Short film review: The Neolith

Short film as a medium is one that doesn’t appeal to me as such; I prefer being caught up in a feature length narrative. Through the years I’ve seen a lot of shorts at film festivals, some have caught my eye, others forgotten.

Liverpool-based director and writer Daniel Boocock, with his new short The Neolith, has crafted something pretty original, that has more than caught my eye. Working on a tight budget, the film has an epic scope with startlingly beautiful images, and a primal pull in its narrative. The movie takes place in seemingly primeval times, and centres on a battle between a group of warriors and a lone warrior.

Shot all on location in Skye, the film uses its majestic landscape brilliantly, and that ageless place is the protagonist of the film more than the humans who populate its frames. A dialogue-less narrative can be a hard thing to achieve, and a lot is hinted at or ambiguous, left to the imagination. While this may be frustrating for some, I’m not the type who needs to work everything out logically while watching a film.

Boocock tells his story with visuals, and his talent in conjuring them is clear. From the opening image of the sparks of a fire in close up dancing in the darkness, to a man framed by a fire in the foreground and an incredible star filled sky in the background, the film is dazzling at times with its vision.

The two main warriors put in fantastic performances. Dan Boie has a powerful screen presence, so much so you could see him carrying a full length film. Jak Corrie as the other warrior communicates great sadness and depth through his eyes alone. Unfortunately the two other members of the band can be a little annoying with their mugging and screaming, a shame. Nanna Lynne Andersen as a mystical maiden is haunting in her stillness, and a scene wherein she sings a wordless harmony, as it echoes across the mountains, is goosebump-inducing.

It’s a shame The Neolith wasn’t able to make it to film festivals due to Covid-19, as its images deserve a big screen experience. You can catch the film for free online. Crank up the volume, turn the lights off and become immersed in its world.

The Neolith will be available to stream online at from 5th November.

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