review from the BUCHAREST SHORTCUT CINEFEST festival
Offering viewers a strong opening scene, this short film has a very appealing look that could also serve as a teaser for a feature film. The professionalism behind this piece of filmmaking is evident from the very first sequence, and we can proudly admit that it is impeccable from this technical point of view. The crew deserves all the praise for its hard work.
"Beyond Her Lens" treats the subject of the backstage life of a conflict-zone photographer with great delicacy and thoroughness. Every shot has this truly engaging American look, even the cast and plotline both carry influence from Hollywoodian movies. There are a lot of bokeh shots, mood settling details, arousing angles, excellent choices of camera movement setting the proper atmosphere. Viewers will be captivated by a beautiful continuity of light in each scene. The DoP had a massive input in the imagery and the way the story unfolds using the whole package of image factors. The scenography is realistic and on point, making all the sets look genuinely fit for the story - this is definitely an essential element that contributes to the film's authenticity.
When it comes to editing, we can all agree that sequences are laid out in the way that serves the story best. There are no surprise shots or particular scenes that don't blend in the context. We truly appreciate the recognizable style that holds the whole structure together, building artistic unity. The choice of not using a linear structure and getting step by step into the mind and the heart of the main character is excellent.
Soulful music perfectly underlines the mood of each scene, adding more value to the story. The fade-outs create a flowing sensation which is to be desired, also blending in a touching story. The airplane cabin sound per all is a little quiet. A bit louder and it would have helped with the credibility of the scene.
Lucie Vondráčková delivers an outstanding performance. She brings strength as well as fragility to her character. She's convincing in every scene and it's clear that she has taken the role very seriously, preparing and doing research to portray a woman who has made a mark on war photography as Jana Andert did. In order to achieve such a great outcome, the Director is sure to have been there to guide her every step of the way and we salute this amazing female partnership.
All in all, we appreciate the conclusion of this short film with its circular structure. "Behind Her Lens" succeeds in telling a long story short with the help of a brilliant actress and a fantastic team. "The world doesn't stop just because you're not there. Do what your gut tells you" may very well be the most beautiful and memorable lines of this short film. Moreover, the text at the end brings a touch of sincerity, pointing out the harsh reality of events that were presented in a mild way. We wish for the team to shoot more films, keeping up the high quality of their projects.