TO BE ALONE
Directed by: Matthew Mahler
Starring: Timothy J Cox, John Mahler, Maggie Kurth
William, a man suffering from grief, finds himself on a dark exploration of his own faith and well-being.
Like Partitioned Heart, To Be Alone is another short film dealing with grief, but in a much different manner. Rather than cycling through the varying stages of grief, William is stuck in a battle with his own deeply religious belief system.
There is a huge void in William's life now, that has left him listless and empty. He eats his meals watching religious programs on tv while keeping his bible close at hand at all times. He sleeps on the couch because he can't stand to think about what's upstairs. He gets a phone-call from his neighbour, the Sheriff, who's concerned because he didn't see either William or his wife at church…
William has recently lost his wife. We get a clue late on in the film as to the nature of her death, and its that which has sent William into a spiral of denial and conflict. He cannot bring himself to call the Authorities and takes it upon himself to inter her body.
Timothy J Cox does a marvelous job of playing William, conveying his grief, loneliness and psychosis without a single word of dialogue. The only voices we hear are coming from the tv (or are they?) and the Sheriff's calls on the answering machine. Cox is ably backed up with exemplary technical aspects to the film - the cinematography, editing, shot composition and camera movement all give the film a visually polished appearance. The film's standout scene relies on all of these elements, as William ascends the winding staircase, the camera following behind him in one unedited shot, and the score swelling in ominous dread as to what awaits behind the bedroom door. It's a great moment.
8 out of 10 (MikeOutWest)