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 Will Joines’ psychological thriller The Push.
The Plot: A random act of violence throws a young woman’s life into flux.
There’s often a fine line between psychological thriller and psychological horror. Few films have explored and exploited that line as effectively as Will Joines’ The Push. The film opens innocently enough with a young woman (played by Trieste Kelly Dunn) waiting on a subway platform for her train. She answers a text from her Mother, she gets bumped by a stranger and she goes about her busy day. But that day takes a alarming turn on her way home. Like the best of psychological thrillers, the film pivots on an unexpected occurrence. Like the best of psychological horror films, that occurrence sparks a downward spiral for the central character.
But The Push doesn’t unfold the way most psychological films do. Joines and Screenwriter Jonathan P. Foster set their tale apart by pitting their protagonist as a mere witness to the titular act. In the aftermath, they posit their witness as victim. And they capture her spiral with disarming clarity.
Joines & Co. find an ideal setting for that spiral in the cavernous tunnels of New York’s subway system. Those tunnels can be eerie enough on their own, but Joines bolsters that feeling with Ryan Billia’s echoey sound design, Zoë White’s increasingly claustrophobic photography and the virtuosic editing of Jennifer Lilly. Those marvelous pieces are tied together by the staggering performance of Trieste Kelly Dunn, who conveys legitimate dismay and despair with almost no dialogue. If you’ve been following Dunn’s career (Cold Weather, Vacation!, Banshee) then you already know what she’s capable of. If not, well, now’s the time to get to know her name, ’cause you’re going to be seeing it a lot in the future. For now, just sit back and marvel at The Push.
Meet The Crew:
Directed by: Will Joines Written by: Jonathan P. Foster Starring: Trieste Kelly Dunn Director of Photography: Zoë White Edited by: Jennifer Lilly Sound Editing by: Ryan Billia
I hope you enjoy The Push! Viewers on the festival circuit certainly have, bestowing Will Joines’ film with overwhelming praise, not to mention a handful of awards for star Dunn and Cinematographer Zoë White. It’s a safe bet that all of the film’s praise has thrown some well-earned attention Joines’ way as well. Let’s hope it’s the sort of attention that gets him back behind the camera asap, ’cause it should be interesting to see where the young director goes from here. Until we find that out, you can check out some of Joines’ prior work over at his Vimeo page.
While you’re kicking around, be sure to check out a few of the thousands of the other short films – animated, live action and documentary – their team has curated 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.