Short films matter. Vimeo wants you to know it. So do we. That’s we’re taking a weekly look at some of some of the short film world’s best and brightest. This week, we bring you the Funk Brothers’ stark, timely drama Sala: A Short Odyssey.
The Plot: A quiet young man tries to shut out the consuming noise of the world around him.
If that plot synopsis sounds vague, well, just wait until you see the movie. There really isn’t much to it outside of that ambiguous storyline. But what the Funk Brothers manage to do within that ambiguity is what makes Sala: A Short Odyssey such an engrossing, cinematic piece of work.
Cinematic is the only way to describe Sala. The film eschews any traditional narrative structure, and unfolds in a near stream-of-conscious like collection of sounds and images. It’s worth noting that Director of Photography Ian Rigby’s images are nothing short of breathtaking, each crisp, elegantly composed frame casting an ethereal aura over the action within.
That dreamlike vibe is bolstered by the hyper-kinetic sound design of Jacob “Young Thor” Flack and Brent Kiser. And more than any other element at play in Sala, sound is what drives the film’s narrative. In fact, it often dominates it. Flack and Kiser use everything from boiling water and car horns to barking dogs and subway trains to craft a chaotic tapestry of noise around Sala (played with stoic passion by Success Ben Wachiye). Sound forms on top of sound and still more on top of that. Just when you think that aural energy will consume the young man inside of it, the sound disappears.
The silence is as jarring as it is glorious. It’s a testament the the Funk Brothers talents that they knew exactly when and how to use it. Cobbled together with the film’s dazzling photography and bookended by a two chilling, unrelated voice overs, Sala plays like an experiment in anti-narrative filmmaking. One that understands what a film makes you feel is often more important than the story it tells. And one that becomes every bit the odyssey that it claims.
Meet The Crew:
Written & Directed by: Funk Brothers Starring: Success Ben Wachiye Director of Photography: Ian Rigby Sound Design by: Jacob “Young Thor” Flack & Brent Kiser Edited by: Lin Jin & Arielle Zakowski
We hope you enjoy Sala: A Short Odyssey! Short films are all about experimenting and taking chances and telling stories that are not often told. There are not many that satisfy so completely on every one of those fronts. There are even fewer that tell such a timely story in the process. Sala is the sort of film that should get a lot of notice for the Funk Brothers. Hopefully, it’ll be enough to get them involved in a feature project in the very near future. That being said, we’re waiting to see what their follow up will be. Until then, you can check out some of Funk Brothers’ prior film and commercial work over at their Vimeo page.
While you’re kicking around, be sure and check out some of the thousands of other – animated, live action and documentary – the Vimeo team has curated for your viewing pleasure (via desktop ormobile device … SWEET!). You’re sure to find something interesting, and you may just stumble across a new favorite filmmaker.