Simple Mind (2012)
Description (from the IMDb): Simple Mind is the story of a man, who through therapy, discovers more about himself and his life then he ever imagined.
Major Cast Timothy J. Cox as Bob, Kristi McCarson as Samantha
Special Features: None (Online Screener)
Written and Directed by Phil Newsom
Those of you that read my reviews often may remember Tim Cox, as he was in a trio of short films I reviewed a while back, as well as another short called THE MISOGYNIST (here). He has sent me another short, SIMPLE MIND, which shows off a completely different side to his acting chops, and it was nice to see Cox in a role that is not humorous at all.
SM is a short, ominous little film dealing with Bob, who is professing his obsession for a woman to his psychiatrist. Bob also has some really dark tendencies. I really don’t want to go too much into the story because the film is only 7:23, and to tell you much more than that would be to give away the twists that Newsom has so carefully packaged in such a short time. This is one of those movies where, towards the beginning, you say: “oh, I know the twist, you won’t surprise me!” and then as it gets to the end: “dammit, I didn’t see THAT coming.”
Newsome’s plot, character development, visual eye, and directing abilities all shine in less than seven and a half minutes. SM opens with a great scene of Cox running in slow motion with heartbeat like audio playing that immediately grabs the viewer and draws them into the story. We immediately get that he’s most likely a stalker, and that Stephanie probably doesn’t even know who he is. The plot and character development build and twist from there, and SM does a better job of getting into its character’s heads and messing with its viewer’s heads than many films ten times its length. The film also has a lot of really interesting visual touches, from the odd camera angles used to the use of close-ups, and these images help to build the suspense of the plot and the odd feeling with the character of Bob. It also helps that Cox has some sort of really freaky ability to literally make his pupils convulse, which equals instant creepiness.
SM did have one big flaw as well: the audio. It was inconsistent; in a few scenes the dialogue was really well recorded, but overall its quality is much lower. The audio is not so bad as to make the film hard to hear, but it does draw some for the rest of the professionalism presented in SM.
Overall, I really enjoyed SM. The flick does a really good job of packing a lot of emotional oomph into 7:23. It is well shot with good quality video, and overall very well made (with just one exception). What impressed me the most other than the plot was the performance from Cox. Having seen him in completely comedic roles, it was a very nice 180 to see him playing such a dark, disturbed, and disturbing character. I look forward to seeing more work from both Cox and from Newsom.
Overall 8 / 10
SM on the IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2332789/
SM video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuT2a1_0cVQ
SM is not for sale.
SM does not appear to have an official site.