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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Baggage (2013) - New Short Film from Kipp and Dimension (Review)

The way I want to discuss Baggage, the new short film from Jeremiah Kipp and Rob Dimension, is by letting you know just how it made me feel. That's a little different isn't it? Usually reviewers are trying to tell you if something is any good. Good as if it had a definable trait that allowed all readers to immediately identify with the "good" you are talking about, grasp it and than collectively agree. Sometimes we say whether we liked something and sometimes we tell you what we didn't like about a movie, but in this case it's best to leave it up to raw emotion and allow that emotion to be yours, but this is mine. We don't want to spoil the movie, and if I tell you more than Kipp and Dimension do, I think I'll give away more than I ever would hope to give of a movie that needs YOU to be the active participant.

Here's what Dimension and the Baggage gang want to reveal about the film to you:

Synopsis - Benjamin is normal. He does his best to fit in with society. He goes to work, loves his significant other and has hopes and dreams just like you. You will follow Benjamin for one day of his life, but will you still believe that Benjamin is normal after his world is revealed?

This is what the magician shows you in the illusion. This is the part of the trick that makes you wonder what comes next and gets you excited. A day in the life of Benjamin. A guy that's doing his best to fit in... sounds like most of the folks I know. 

Here's the teaser trailer if you want to see the magician fan his cards:


My immediate feeling after watching the movie was great feelings of elation; both positive and negative. Elation is a word that seems to be drawn out of positive experience, but I feel that the emotion, the passion, the overwhelming thing that I was feeling was a wholly both. Some movies will let you down. You'll leave them feeling dry as a bone and beat up. I think of a movie like Saw or Seven. You have no idea how to leave the film. You know that what you just saw made you upset, so you're most likely upset, but that's no way to leave a theater. Whenever I watched a movie I always ask myself if I grew from the experience or at the very least if I was entertained. So movies that let you down; they are not entertaining and they do not make you feel better or more positive. It's a shocker. Then there's the "boosters". These movies let you feel a tremendous amount of positive emotion. It could be as Jason Voorhees smacks someone into a tree trunk while encased in a sleeping bag a bunch o' times... you'll feel good after watching it. A booster doesn't have to necessarily be an upbeat movie or show with Tom Hanks dressed up as a Bossom Buddy.  Sometimes you laugh or you cry tears of joy and sometimes you just like to see the world get smashed up into piles of splat. It's easier to enjoy these movies. So when I say that after watching Baggage I felt both, it's not that I disliked the movie; it is simply that the movie carries with it a serious emotional punch if you let it in. 

It's a well shot movie. Clean. Much cleaner than Dimension's previous work on No Clowning Around. In terms of polish and crystal clear shots, well framed and as almost a mirror to the everyday, this is almost a work of a mirror reflection than fictional gazing into a crystal ball at a character. If you can see yourself in the protagonist, you're supposed to. If you're thinking this is your life, it probably is and so for me it was. I fully felt from the beginning that I could easily swamp places with our protagonist. I have walked the same steps, met the same people, endured the same pleasantries, responded the same way. The movie could easily be about you, but maybe more or less it would be about you if you had crossed over into another, skewed tangent of a reality; one where all the clocks are five minutes too fast and there's a mystery on every sign post. In that, watching Baggage is moderately uncomfortable at times. You wait for yourself to fuck up, or you wait to understand just what it is your doing on this planet. It's the everyday search for purpose. An armchair philosopher in a bucket seat behind the wheel with the shifter in drive instead of park or neutral. Baggage is an active film. It's a movie that keeps you active as a participant. 


I don't mean to say that Baggage will break the pretty reality frame you've created to help you manifest a daily life that fits in with societal norms.  It's just a movie after all and not a set of stereo instructions. I do mean that you can allow it to let you think. It's the choice between taking  a hallucinogen and trying to have a dream quest versus watching a movie and waiting for events to unfold as passenger rather than a driver. From the start maybe you know what happens or maybe you don't, but it's best to let yourself experience in real time what IS on the screen. 

Press play, watch, repeat. It's a short film, so you can actually do that and see just how it makes you feel. Maybe once today or once tomorrow. In a room full of strangers at a screening, maybe it makes you feel different than watching alone or with your lover. We all have baggage; what's yours? Do you pick it up when you wake up in the morning to the alarm or maybe on the commute? When do you pick it up? What does it do to you and how do you react in turn to it?

Baggage is a group effort put together by a troop of folks that we are becoming ever more familiar with. Kim Dimension, Sal Valente... people who created the truly disturbing No Clowning Around along with Rob Dimension. On board this time around is Jeremiah Kipp in the director seat, a man who creates excellent short features with great atmosphere and careful shot selection and creation. Sound Designer/Composer, Barbara J. Weber creates tension, assisting in the misdirecting the audience at times while hammering on their heightened sense of awareness at others. Sometimes good movies are made be great people; that's what we have with Baggage.

You can pick up some Baggage merchandise here and we'll let you know the minute copies are available for purchase. 

You can check out our review of No Clowning Around HERE.

 -Dr. TERROR

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