Short Films: We Keep On Dancing

We associate memories, dreams, hope and people to certain objects. These objects are totems to the past. That is the key idea to We Keep on Dancing, an 8-minute short film directed by Jessica Barclay Lawton and written by Rhys Mitchell, who together are collectively known as Jerry Projects. The film works on the notion of what associations an object can bring. For this film, that object is an old Volkswagen Beetle which is brought to an auto repair shop by Alan (William Gluth). The mechanics see how old the car is and suggest that it would be better to scrap it than to fix it. The key to the short rests on a close-up of Gluth as he delivers a near three-minute monologue. For a short film of its length that is an eternity. There is no room for error with this approach and fortunately there are barely any errors to see. The monologue works only by relying on the empathy of strangers watching it, the same way the characters do in the film. The act of kindness that is derived from that empathy will touch all those without sociopathic tendencies. The duo of the Jerry Projects are two Australian filmmakers writing, producing and directing their own projects that “celebrates the comic frustration and eccentricities of life.” That is an apt description to the spirit of We Keep on Dancing. The color of the film is heightened to being slightly skewed and the short’s filmic quality due to the use of film distorts the reality of the scene. But, that does not mean the emotions are obscured. Rather, it is heightened by the beauty of the composition. This is a film from up-and-coming filmmakers that should be seen.

We Keep On Dancing has been making the rounds of the film festivals winning “Best Live Action Narrative Under 15 Minutes” at the Palm Springs International ShortFest and was featured at the Sundance alternative, the Slamdance Film Festival.