Single might be the best SXSW short that I’ve ever seen. Short films never get the respect they deserve among film fans. Most of that is due to not playing in traditional cinemas and be relegated to the festival circuit. More and more online services are providing them for viewing, but still they are tiny specks in a sea of content. Well, today we’re going to talk about one of these smaller films.
Ashley Eakin has my complete and undivided attention. Working on her own shorts and getting AFI experience seems to have paid dividends. In the last 10 years, we’ve seen a lot of indie talent think that modern dialogue is enough to carry a film. What we get with Single is the construction of a world all too real to some and alien to others.
In 15 minutes, Eakins manages to put a pin in how people handle disability in the public space. While it’s subtext, the truth remains that the average person doesn’t know how to handle the random chaos of being when place in front of them. Some stare, some revolt and others find ways to make the hard-to-understand somehow about them.
Delaney Feener simply slays as Kim. As the lead, she is our way into a microcosm that exists because it must. Everyone has a story and much of Kim’s story is a defense against the preconceptions of others. She doesn’t want to date a guy like her, but she wants to be understood by others. But, not understood in a way that can play as patronizing.
Basically, Kim wants the right to be annoyed at a world that doesn’t know how to treat her. She’s ballsy and not held back by anything. All she needs is to find the right person that can reach her level. The fact that we get a resolution in 15 minutes speaks to the economics of a burgeoning film talent. Hell, I just wish that everything I get to see in 2020 can hold a candle to Single.