Well, it was quite sometimes since last I went looking up short film noir on YouTube. There is always something new when I go hunting, and if it’s true that many are really not that good, there are others that are a joy to watch.
This is undoubtedly the case for Miss Barton’s Famous Cakes (2019) by Jared Hirsch and Nelson Vicens. 15 minutes of good film noir recreation with a good serving of comedy thrown in it.
I was immediately captured by the opening titles. There is not often an opening sequence in these short films (as you would expect, since every minute counts), but this one was well spent because it sets the scene nicely for the rest of the film. I really enjoyed the use of details and the ominous music. And I was intrigued because making a cake doesn’t sound particularly noir.
The coming of the two detectives (Michael Doherty and Charlie McElveen), the ambiguity of the entire plot, the stormy-night setting, and the suggestion that Miss Barton (Lauren LaVera) is, in fact, a femme fatal perfectly capable of taking care of herself even in a story night are all elements of noir.
I found the ‘historical’ setting really well done. Many short film noir either don’t use a historical recreation or do it very poorly, so this was a lovely addition.
Even if the noir mood is set perfectly, it is soon clear that elements of comedy are present too. The dialogue does an especially good job of this, in my opinion. Of course, film noir dialogues are often witty, and I think here they manage to turn that into truly comedic tones while avoiding destroying the noir mood.
I really really liked this.
The acting is great. The actors are well-chosen. The music score by Connor Griffith is spot on.
I really enjoyed it, and I hope you do too.
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