Antonia Kinlay, Laurence Dobiesz | 2022 | Fiction | United Kingdom | 12:30
Mark’s trying to finish his novel but everyone tells him long-form content’s dead. ‘Make a film instead,’ they say. ‘Just do it! Shoot something short. Shoot something funny.’ Mark follows their advice and his film may be short, but no one’s laughing about what he shoots…
Our Take - Small Axe Radical Short Film Reviews by Cole Diment
Antonia Kinlay and Laurence Dobiesz’s _Just Do It _asks us to consider the impact of the digital age on our face-to-face relationship, creativity and emotions. Most pertinently in this film is a critique of the affect of capital on the creative process. _Just Do It _showcases how market forces determine the credibility and validity of different art forms. In the film this takes the form of a preference, as we are currently experiencing right now, of short-form digital _content _over long-form artistic pursuits. Our protagonist Mark experiences this in the general disdain for his writerly status. Isn’t all art worthy by virtue of self-expression we may ask? According to the market, no.
The face-to-face relationships that make up Mark’s life are equally disenchanting. His girlfriend seems bogged down in a bland, depressive ironic cynicism whilst the marketing professional he meets in a cafe embodies all that is wrong with a culture bent on flashy images over substantive expression. Indeed, characters seem more engaged and exuberant when on phones and social media; an endless production of self in the digital world. _Just Do It_ shows us where identity lacks.
Whilst the suicide of Mark may come as abrupt, maybe somewhat cheap, it proves an important narrative function. The ending of _Just Do It_ forces us to confront the faux emotion of the digital age. In this bubbly hell-hole everything surfaces as the chance for cheap self-promotion. Even Mark’s death is a reason for those around him to make a name, even capital. Capital, and its affect on human community, is thus revealed as wholly unethical, a sugar-coated horror story of disturbing proportions.
Our directors have asked that we link to Museum of the Mind, a museum dedicated to understanding mental health: