GIRL AND A SCAR (2017)
Written and Directed by David Cave
Newcastle-based director David Cave is back after a succesful run on the international festival circuit with his previous short Dystopia St. In his new short film, Girl and a Scar, we see the return of the surreal though this time it’s packaged into a narrative about a young woman struggling to work through her issues.
Adopting a gothic style in a gritty, dank environment where bare-brick walls and exposed wooden floorboards appear to be the norm, the titular girl finds herself addicted to self harming with a razor when not being chased down by a giant teddy bear. Her penchant for self harming becomes more concerning when the area of her cuts starts develop into a bulging black growth. The girl tries to understand this weight upon her and goes through a journey that sees her try to come to terms with her lover leaving.
David’s films are often about interpretation rather than straight-forward narrative. Not a single piece of dialogue is uttered in the short film so instead the viewer is left to decipher what may possibly be going on with the girl. Cave cleverly uses a splash of animation to add an extra dimension to his storytelling, maybe to enforce a child-like perspective on the story and issues the girl enduring. The blend works quite nicely with the animation becoming more frequent as the film progresses.
Cave has gone for a specific look in his surreal work of fiction, one that feels ancient and out of this world yet still has one foot grounded in reality. Our pierced gothic girl flickers from period to modern, albeit if only the change of her hair colour, but this switch seems to signify where she is in reality compared to where she’s at in her mind.
The great thing with these short films is that there’s no right or wrong answer, even if Cave’s intent is rather specific. The nature of his work allows you to take what you want from it and make your own mind up and whilst this style might not suit everyone, it certainly is worth checking out if you’re an open-minded film lover.
A journey of darkness to the light, GIRL AND A SCAR will be screening at a festival near you.