After the Smoke

Director of Photography: Velinda Wardell ACS.

Bar far, in this reviewer’s opinion, the best cinematography in a short film across the entire festival.

As the locals gather at the rodeo arena in a barren outback mining town, a young man watches the rider as he battles with a rearing horse, one hand tightly holding the reins. It’s a bizarre dance, playing with danger, living for that momentary rush of adrenalin. But as if signalling a dark omen, black smoke rises skyward from a huge chimney. A series of events unfold, and a young man bears witness to something he will never forget.

No stranger to flawless cinematography, Velinda Wardell ACS presents a nine-minute film noir (literally in black and white) and places it squarely within the context of a contemporary story and contemporary filmmaking. The visuals are stunningly crisp. Utilising an emotional voice-over device to push its narrative forward, After the Smoke is a multi-layered short film from Director Nick Waterman that comes to life in three acts that connect, yet have their own individual life. It’s a unique yet effective film that makes it one of those rare experimental shorts that actually works… very, very well.

Reviewed at the 2017 Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).

Written by Vanessa Abbott. 

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