Glove Compartment, by Dan Allen

– by Wendy Morley –

In my last post on short films I mentioned my affinity for short stories and how it would make sense for the best aspects of that length to translate from the page to virtual celluloid, but I have to admit, they often don’t. Sometimes the filmmaker wants to fit a feature-length story into 15 or 20 minutes. In my admittedly biased opinion, I don’t feel that’s the best use of the allotted time.

One example of a short film that uses its time wisely is Glove Compartment, by Dan Allen. This film starts with violence, but during the next 11 or 12 minutes delves instead into the minds and hearts of the assassins as they decide the fate of the little girl whose parents were killed.

The film is not perfect. (Of course, no film is.) In this case the beginning is a little weak, and you might need to consciously suspend your disbelief as the compliant little girl goes obediently along with the two men first from her house and then in the coming scenes. Also, while the ending as a whole is surprising, the climax is announced a little too loudly for my liking, though the final seconds are heartbreaking.

But apart from those small details the film is really quite good: the editing solid, the script sound, the directing far better than in many shorts I’ve watched, and the acting of the two main characters, played by Jon Campling and Andrew Coppin, superior. It also makes good use of an original score, by Christopher Hanson. You can watch it below.

(Note: After choosing this film as this week’s short, I discovered that the filmmaker Dan Allen is quite young and really just beginning his career although he has a few films under his belt already. A very impressive start, and I for one shall be sure to keep an eye on him.)

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