Reviews of the short films of the 21st Reggio Film Festival, produced by the students of the Art School “Gaetano Chierici” in Reggio Emilia.
Cuckoo is an 8 minute Dutch short film shot in 2019,directed and written by Jörgen Scholtens; the actors who are present are Frank Lammers, Hetty Heyting, Joost Prinsen.
The short film is about a gentleman who lives inside a cuckoo clock.He has a very important task: to bind himself to his wooden chair that appears every hour in the old woman’s living room, and then yell to wake her up with the aim of making her take her medicines.
Scholtens’ goal for this short film is probably the importance of taking responsibility and how important they are for everyday life even though they may be boring.to do this, the director creates a story with a comic background to defuse and lighten the plot a bit.this choice is emphasized by the narration rhythm which is fast and harmonious as it does not annoy the listener.the shots are balanced for the story and make us understand what the director wants to express; as well as the colors.
The soundtrack, on the other hand, is original and strongly supports the images.the final result therefore is fun but at the same time reflection; thus creating in the viewer a feeling of confusion given by the contrast of these two conflicting emotions.
the short film was clear and concise, it catches the attention and leaves a bit of doubt in the ending. it is harmonious and not heavy.
Valeria Vecchi, 3E
Do you love small short films that intrigue and make you smile?
Well, a few days ago, a series of short films were screened at the Reggio Film Festival, and I
had the chance to see them all!
There were many short films that struck me, carriers of colors, music or history that were
capable of keeping me stuck to the screen; but one in particular stood out among the
Its name is Cuckoo, it is about a man who lives in his small and humble house with his cat,
and every day, at the same time, he climbs on an armchair and becomes a cuckoo. He puts
on his helmet, activates a lever and rails carry him out the door of his house making him do
the cuckoo. Once thrown out, his job is to scream and wake the owner of the watch, to
remind her to take some pills.
The scenes are shot correctly, full of special effects, clear and legible. The colors are in
keeping with the story and don’t feel too flashy or out of place, while the screenplay is
intriguing, able to capture the viewer’s attention from the very first minutes, with twists and
What’s more, the leading actor has great acting skills, is able to convey his moods to the
viewer; he also has funny facial expressions, which make us enjoy and follow the scene
To conclude, I think this is a beautiful short film, attentive to all the details, nice and with a
surprise ending. Personally I recommend it: I enjoyed it, I gladly followed the plot and I was
amazed by the twists.
Agata Botti, 5E
Great short film, funny final scene, regret, empathy, power, fun, great acting, pass emotions
to the viewer
Aleksandra Grek, 4E
Lady Brently’s end is the short film that I liked the most among those that I saw in Theater San Prospero for the competition “Reggio Film Festival”.
It is a comedy directed by Sam Baron in the United Kingdom in 2021, actors who starred there are Maddie Rice, Kirsty Mann, Harry Kershaw, few but good. They were very good at playing their roles of girls and men of Victorian age, they kept me entertained and made me laugh throughout the duration of the short film.
The plot is about a widow who thinks that without a husband she won’t become anyone important in her society, so she wants to kill herself, but her sister will try to convince her of the opposite to keep her alive and make her understand that it is worth living.
It was set in a room with furniture which are similar to the ones of the Victorian age, white walls with gold-framed paintings attached to them and big windows behind a green sofa where the actors are sitting.
I think that there is a large studio of lights which are cold and of the shots, which are static but they manage to keep the viewer focused on what is happening. The music perfectly accompanies the unfolding of the story, intensifying the sensations that are strongly transmitted to the audience.
I enjoyed watching it because, despite the message is so sad and unfortunately very current even in our days, it is so funny and in my opinion it was a great idea to talk about these issues like this because in this way they are transmitted more strongly to everyone, even those to whom they do not concern, or those who do not have an open mind to progress.
Chiara Paterlini, 4E
“Lady Brently” was the short that impressed me the most among all the other shorts in
the Reggio film festival because being so intuitive and simple, in its important topics, it works very
well, thanks also to its ironic key. The scene that made me laugh the most was the final part, when the husband comes home alive and the wife, after dreaming her eyes open her life without him, throws herself out of the window.
Chiara Rozzi, 4E
Lady Brently’s End is a short film by the director Sam Baron and the script by Kirsty Mann, Dipak Patel. Released in 2021 in Uk, it stars Maddie Rice, Kirsty Mann and Harry Kershaw.
An emancipated woman must convince her widowed sister that life is worth living.
Lady Brently’s End is a comedy set in England, during the Victorian period. This is clear from the setting and the costumes: is shot in one room whit curtains, mirrors sofas, chandeliers and furniture typical of that period. The dresses are full of decoration, sumptuous with soft colors.
The film’s cinematic language is effective for framing, lights and language understandable to all.
The acting in my opinion is excellent because each character was characterized very well, with ironic tones of voice despite the tragic situation.
The soundtrack is effective and quality because it frames the situation and the environment.
I liked this short film because I never expected comedy in such a tragic situation and the acting is perfect.
Francesca Sforza, 4E
Lady Brently End is an English short film released in 2021 directed by Sam Baron. A woman named Lady Brently, who lived in Victorian England, discovers that her husband died in the war. She is so desperate to end her life, but her newly widowed sister tries to make her see reason, explaining that life is worth being lived, opening another world to her. I think the director wanted to communicate many important moral themes and meanings such as the role of women in society, using a comic language; this gives greater lightness to the concepts treated, almost making them
superficial and easy to manage without making the short film vulgar. The shots and camera movements are linear, dynamic and flowing, the colors and light effects show a harmonious balance that make the scenes interesting, also contributing to the psychology of the characters and the meaning of their behavior. The screenplay is important because it makes us understand how the characters communicate through comic language, the actors do not have a perfect interpretation because the acting is forced but it is something positive in fact this type of directorial choice manages to entertain and amuse the viewer. The soundtracks are secondary factors and form the
background to the dialogues present, the speeches said are precise and clearly marked and give meaning and values to the scenes. I find this short film very funny, the story and the twist amused and entertained me a lot, mainly for the ending and the dialogues between Lady Brently and her sister, it seemed very amusing to me and I fully believe that they are the most interesting parts and funny. The characters aroused sympathy in me, especially the sister, she is the character that struck me the most, because she made me reflect on her speeches. For those who love these types of
short films, I highly recommend watching it, it is pleasing both visually and for the message it wants to convey.
Alessia Peluso, 4G
“Lady Brently end” is a short film by the director Sam Baron, released in 2021 in the UK with a running time of 6 minutes. The actors playing the various characters are: Maddie Rice, Kirsty Mann, Harry Kershaw.
This short film, set in the Victorian era, presents an emancipated woman from England who has just found out that she has been widowed because of an accident that the train, in which her husband was on, had made.
Her sister, to give her comfort since she was in shock, presents her with all the possibilities of things to do now that she has become a widow, instead of feeling sorry for herself for fear of what people might think of her.
The message that the director wanted to convey in the form of irony is that even in unfortunate situations there is always a reason to move on and not feel sorry for yourself and think about the judgment of others.
I think the cinematic language of this short film is very consistent and welcoming to viewers.
The lighting, the composition of the house and the clothing, definitely allude to another era, on the other hand, as far as the dialogues are concerned, the way of thinking is a mixture of past and contemporary era, and I think this mixture is really outstanding because it manages not to get tired during the narration of the short.
The soundtrack also alludes to another era and makes it even more compact in terms of narrative.
Lady Brently is a very emancipated woman who thinks a lot about the judgment of others, with an impetuous character, while her sister is very calm in fact throughout the short film she tries to console and reason with her sister.
My favorite scene was when Lady Brently’s sister shows all the alternatives her sister could take now that she was a widow, and the moment when Lady Brently loses her mind and would like to become the first thing that comes into her head.
I would recommend the film to those who want to be entertained and surprised by an unexpected ending.
Luciana Scarpa, 4G
What is the best short film of the Reggio film festival? The answer is “Lady Brently’s End”, a short film directed by the English Sam Baron, which lasts six minutes. Filmed in the United Kingdom in 2021, it’s a comedy about a liberated woman in Victorian England, who tries to convince her sister that life must be lived.
The plot is about a young lady, who after the discovery of his husband’s death, seeks solace in his sister. The widow wants to take her own life, but the words of her sister are able to revive her happiness. In fact, the protagonist finds her new inspiration: to live her life to the fullest even without the presence of her husband.
Soon after, however, the man enters the door revealing the falsity of his death.
What will the wife do now?
The story is set in a typical Victorian house: the two women and also the gentlemen, in fact, are dressed in an old fashioned way. The shots are very close, revealing every trait of the actresses’ faces: thanks to this it’s possible to see the facial expressions of the two women down to the smallest detail and to feel the characters closer.
Despite the old scenario, the dialogue between the two is very modern: the main theme, in fact, is female emancipation, which the screenwriter, Sam Baron, was able to think in an ironic way. Similarly, the other short films talk about important themes, but without the ironic key that characterizes this one. The video works well for its dualism: on the one side, there’s the serious issue of women, and on the other side there’s the ironic narration that is in contrast with the theme.
Overall, I would highly recommend “Lady Brently’s End” for its ability to entertain the watcher and let him think about a real important societal problem. If you like short funny films that have a deeper aim, then this is for you!
Vittoria Mariotti, 5E
What are the pros of not having a husband? The answer can be found in “Lady Brently’s end”, a short film from the UK directed by Sam Baron in 2021. The cast includes Maddie Rice, Kirsty Mann and Harry Kershaw.
The story is set in the 19th century, when two sisters are talking about a trainaccident that probably killed the husband of one of them. Lady Brently, the widow, is desperate: what even is a woman without a husband!? Her sister is going to help her find out.
Through brilliant humour, this short film references modern-day issues but also the achievements of our time. The jokes are extremely clever and the actors delivered them perfectly. Furthermore, in the end there’s a hilarious twist! Overall it is very well directed: the only thing that could have been improved is the photography, which is not particularly interesting. Both the costumes and the soundtrack are fit for the purpose of the story.
Given these points, in my perspective “Lady Brently’s end” is too good not to be watched. In particular, I recommend it to whoever enjoys comedy and amazingly written dialogues, because despite it being set in the past, this short film is a breath of fresh air.
Noemi Schettino, 5E
The movie had good acting, describing such different emotions for a short
period of time is never easy but I felt a real love story and a true connection
between the two characters.
- The atmosphere is quite simple because it’s just a store full of DVDs put on
shelves but I think that’s what makes it special.
Alex, throughout the short, talks about seeing people making bonds in that same
store and I like the fact that something that at first doesn’t represent nothing, can
create something that lasts forever.
- The costumes are just two, Alex’s and Fàtima’s, but they are well-studied.
Fàtima is all dressed black, looking like Wednesday Addams, metaphorically saying
that she wants to create a mask on herself inspired by the thing she loves most but
without showing her true-self. Instead, Alex’s costume does look like something a
teenager would wear, which makes him more real and shy.
- There isn’t music throughout the short, just a song for the end credits.
- Some of the shots that I liked the most are the ones when Alex is describing
encounters and family memories as flashbacks, they dissociate with the shots
we’ve seen before and makes it less boring to watch.
- The film is kind of a predictable love story, but it is unique in its own way.
It’s not full of cliches and it tells a true, heartwarming story.
It was easy to follow because it is a big long scene, set in just one place and in one
- I enjoyed watching this film because I felt a personal connection with the two
characters. I’ve always loved cinema, and from the beginning I knew it was
talking about how movies are important to people.
I too used to go to video stores when I was little and when I saw that they were all
closing and buying DVDs wasn’t as successful as I thought, it made me a bit empty
inside. So, while seeing the shorts, it brought me back to when I was just a child and
stayed hours just to decide what movie to buy.
That’s why I have a personal connection to the characters, because I feel what Alex
is feeling: everything you thought and hoped was going to last, it’s not going to last
- I would recommend this movie if you are a cinephile and love movies. There
are some hints about some of the most famous ever made and if you notice
them that it makes it much more funny to watch.
But I would also recommend it if you like romantic movies that aren’t too cheesy, but
just as a simple and warming story.
Linda Menozzi, 4E
Loop, an eight-minute animated short film by director and screenwriter Pablo Polledri, was
shot in 2021 in Spain.
Based on the films Incordia and Corp, it speaks of a society where each individual constantly
repeats the same action, but the two protagonists will interrupt the loop to create their own.
In most of his short films, the director deals with social themes with irony.
Although the message of this short film is not well specified, not even by the director himself,
it can be understood that it invites the viewer to detach himself from the monotony of
everyday life, often imposed by society.
I find that the use of a few colors, such as black and red grey, the repetition of the images,
ever faster, which portray the various loops, and the abrupt interruption of the latter, are very
effective and impactful.
The addition of funny scenes, where the policemen chase the two protagonists through the
various loops, makes the narrative meaningful but light.
I find that the protagonists are consistent with the message they carry.
To escape their loop and live by their rules, they’re ready to escape and race through
buildings, with the loop’s police hot on their heels.
Even the latter are very consistent with their character; synchronized and determined not to
break the loop of the other characters.
The repetitive sounds produced by the characters of the loops accelerate their succession
until they mix, thus forming a perfect soundtrack, which underlines the frenzy of civilization
that almost makes you anxious.
I liked the film because it veiledly denounces the monotony of life imposed on us by society.
The scene that particularly struck me is when the woman in the car realizes the loop and
starts unlocking all the people she meets on her way.
I found the ending convincing, it struck me, love conquers all.
Agata Di Palma, 4G
Funny, deep, direct.
So I would enclose the effectiveness of this short film.
One day, two friends who have been working together for many years start talking.
One of them starts to tell about the time she was diagnosed with cancer,and visited the city of Cordoba in 2008.
Her friend was shocked, disappointed, and sad that she had not told her that she had visited Cordoba,because she would have suggested places to see.
This short film is extremely effective, because with an ironic key you see the quiet with which important topics are treated.
“There are things that are hidden even from your best friend”,i like the fact that her friend is upset because she didn’t know the useless things she was telling her and not the really important things.
For the technical part, the music was the fundamental point in my opinion,it starts in the middle of the movie and continues in the final part.
Dark but dynamic colors, simple shots, with the use of the 180-degree rule for the dialogues used.
I recommend the vision of this short film, because it makes you understand how much importance we give to certain events in our lives that are nothing compared to worse things.
Francesca Pia Accardo, 4G
“Turbo Love” is a 7-minute Polish short film directed by Alicja Jasina, released in 2021. The two main characters are Olivia, played by Dominika Kachlik and Juliusz Godzina as boyfriend Jeff.
Olivia creates a tutorial on her Youtube channel, to inaugurate “Turbo Love”, a software that gives full control over people’s love life, just design and create your “perfect” relationship and turbo love will convert it into real life. There are various steps to take: choose where the appointment will take place, the characteristics that your partner must have.. In short, Olivia has designed everything in detail. But unfortunately the creation of the appointment on the application does not go in the right
direction. Olivia loses control of the software, which seems to have gone crazy and when the export takes place in real life, Olivia finds herself in the midst of chaos, with her boyfriend Jeff leaving home.
In this short film I really enjoyed photography, especially framing games, first on Olivia in real life and then on the screen, as if we viewers were inside the application.
I really liked it because it deals with a theme that apparently may seem obvious, but the director managed to make it pleasant and interesting. Especially because it is fun but at the same time
makes us reflect on the fact that in our generations, we have made a model of “perfect” relationship that has no flaw, but it is not in this way, because if it were always perfect everything would become boring.
Valentina Palù, 4G
“Being My Mom” is a 2020 short film written and directed by Jasmine Trinca that stars Alba
Rohrwacher and Maayane Conti in the roles of mother and daughter.
Their relationship is based on silence and unspoken, fatigue and often reversed caring roles.
The daughter follows and watches her mother carry a heavy suitcase along the steep climbs
of a deserted Rome, on a path that seems to be endless. Two women, one adult and the
other a teenager who chase and escape from each other by exchanging tasks, alternating
moments of play and complicity with others of distance and detachment, in absolute silence.
The choice of setting is optimal, the journey of the two women is accompanied by a beautiful
scenery, Rome. It is a torrid and deserted Rome, there are only the mother and daughter
walking along empty streets, tired from the heat and the weight of the suitcase. To make
them feel less alone, however, there are the statues of the Sant’Angelo bridge and the dome
of San Pietro.
The two actresses interpret their roles comprehensively, they manage to perfectly convey
the idea of love and the complicity of their relationship, even if it often consists in silences
Photography is also a strong point: the shots greatly enhance the short film. Close-ups on
the faces of the protagonists and statues are very effective.
“Being My Mom” is a metaphorical walk in the existence of two women, two protagonists
who are only protagonists of their lives. We observe them with an accidental glance,
creatures that are inessential to the world but essential to each other. An investigation into
the bright and dark roads of motherhood and of every offspring.
Greta Barbieri, 5E
Being my mom is the first short film directed by Jasmine Trinca: since 2001, the roman artist works as an actress with the biggest names of Italian entertainment, like Moretti and Veronesi, winning prestigious awards.
In the film of 11’’ and 55’, Trinca shows, in her own and symbolic way, the particular connection with the mother, between her young self and her mother.
Since the first scene the relationship between the mother, the winning-award actress Alba Rohrwacher, and her young self, the young Ma Ayane Conti, appears ambivalent and ambiguous: on a unmade bed in an anonymous bedroom, an infant scream comes out from the lips of Rohrwacher, well stretched out. The child observes her mum with a deep and steely gaze, showing an alarming consciousness and maturity.
Like usual, the infant’s scream becomes a laugh and the two young women start their long walk without a destination on a torrid day in Rome, carrying a big and seemingly heavy baggage.
The film is spread on this metaphoric walk to nothingness, centered on the roles between
the two figures and their shift. Will the two young women find their balance?
The fragile stability among the mother and the daughter and the deep meaning of a simple
move are only two of the delicate topics that Trinca shows us.
Another significant point of her poetry is Rome: the director’s origin arises violently in every shoot, underlining how Italy’s capital city is the constant background of her childhood. The archeological sites in nude blocks, the “nasoni” fountains and the omnipresent San Pietro’s dome increase the visual continuity of the entire narration, accompanied by the incessant chirping of cicadas, the only sound element of the short film, expect for the infant crying at the beginning and the powerful soundtrack “se bruciasse la città” by Massimo Rainieri.
The absence of dialogues exalts the actress’s physicality, acts and expressions in a dynamic setting: Trinca shows a particular attention for the symmetry and the geometry for the scenic composition in every frame, thus characterizing the unusual cinema format even more.
Overwall, Being my mom is powerful and fluid, able to excite and take the audience closer to the characters and the settings: the viewer can identify with the mother and also the child and, at the same time being out of the personal relation that binds them.
Gaia Buggemi, 5E