Our Take – Small Axe Short Film Reviews by Cole Diment.
At a sweet and short 1:04 Betsy Stern’s Now! is a feverish indictment of the car, seemingly at the end of an era. With its comedic, almost clown-ish tone Now! has an ability to both dumbfound and excite at the same time as posing existential questions pertinent to our time.
Perhaps for me, the main thing I love about Now! is its unabashed tomfoolery. Betsy Stern takes images of car – surely housing respectable, upright citizens on their way to work, the shops etc… – and manipulates them to look like fools. The opening image of the man in a child’s small electric car, combined with the obtuse whirring of the engine and slanted carnival music, perfectly encapsulates an image of a total Western population playing with childish airs as they bound about without knowledge of their final destination.
The end of the film brings about a different perspective in the possibility of nature. Will the pandemic signal the end of the car era or will we lapse back into the destruction of our climate with mass vehicle onslaught? Either way, we must answer Betsy Stern’s cry ‘Where are we going?!’
Betsy wishes to highlight these two projects alongside her film. Make sure to check them out!
My 24-second PSA on women’s reproductive rights
Wade in the Water
My very short music video showing how racism feels to those who suffer its consequences