Short films matter. Vimeo wants you to know it. So do we. That’s why every week we’ll take a look at some of the short film world’s best and brightest. This week, we bring you Alex Bohs’ tender vignette Note To Self.
The Plot: A young man recounts the end of a brief relationship.
Some short films aim to dazzle with style. Some try to get under your skin with raw emotion. The best shorts offer a little bit of both. Alex Bohs’ Note to Self clocks in at a brisk two-minutes flat. But Bohs packs more style and emotion into that two-minutes than most feature films manage in 90-minutes or more.
At heart, his approach to Note to Self is a study in straightforward storytelling. Bohs structures his entire narrative around two simple narratives. The first is a visual vignette of a relationship between two young women (Courtney Lundeen and Chloe Howcroft). The second is a raw, honest voice-over of a man recounting a brief but beautiful summer fling.
If the two elements that form Note to Self‘s narrative initially don’t seem to have much in common, that’s because they were culled from two separate projects. The film’s visuals were taken from one of Bohs’ abandoned music video projects. The voice-0ver is Bohs himself recording notes of a story from his own life for use in a future script. Bohs spent some time brooding over each before realizing the two separate narratives could work as a single narrative.
He was right. While each element tells a compelling tale of fleeting passion in its own right, they become a candid, abstract account of brief encounters in a modern world when cut together. An account that skewers traditional gender politics in service of deep, universal truths. The same sort of truths that come when you realize not every relationship in your life will be permanent. Or the sort that comes when you acknowledge even fleeting relationships can have meaning. Not to mention the sublime truths gleaned from every stolen moment in between.
If that sounds like a lot of territory to cover in just two minutes, that’s because it is. Yet Note to Self never feels rushed or overwrought. Like the film’s central relationships, Note to Self begins and ends exactly where it needs to. Bohs mixes words and images with such dexterity throughout the film that a rich, fully formed narrative emerges. That narrative dazzles the eyes. It gets under your skin too. As it does, Note to Self becomes a profound, honest look at finding connection in a world that often scoffs at it and a delicate reminder that even fleeting connections can be divine.
Meet The Crew:
Written, Directed, Edited & Narrated by: Alex Bohs Starring: Courtney Lundeen & Chloe Howcroft Cinematography by: Mark Johnson & Alex Bohs Music by: Mutual Benefit
I hope you enjoy Note To Self! And I hope you are noting Alex Bohs’ name, ’cause it’s one you’ll be hearing in the future. Bohs has worked steadily as an editor and music video director for the better part of a decade now, but Note To Self feels like a big step toward realizing his big screen vision. Let’s hope he’s able to carry that momentum into his next project. Until that next project arrives, you can catch some of Bohs’ previous work over at his Vimeo page. His Finding Franklin is well worth a view. While you’re kicking about, check out a few of the thousands of other short films – animated, live action and documentary – the Vimeo team have made available for your viewing pleasure (via desktop or mobile device – SWEET!). You’re sure to find something interesting. And you may just stumble across the next great filmmaker.