RUNNING TIME: 11 min
REVIEWED BY: Dr Lenera, Official HCF Critic
Kristy is a dancer at a gentlemen’s club. There, she encounters John, who seems to be different from the other men who come to the club. The two immediately have a connection, but Kristy has a secret to tell John. Will their burgeoning ties of affection be strengthened or severed? Or will they find that the hardest thing to accept might be oneself…?
Having read David Gillespie’s reviews of three of Jeremiah Kipp’s other short films: Drool, Crestfallen and Contact on this very website, I was very interested in viewing The Days God Slept, though I have to be honest, the thing that first attracted me was the fact that its music was by Harry ‘Friday The 13th’ Manfredini. Well, you won’t hear any “cha cha chas” here, but portions of the music do have an echo and the lengthy main piece of music is rather sinister and could easily belong in a horror film.
Anyway, enough about the music. The Days God Slept is a rather expressionistic, even dreamlike piece as it seems to move back and forth in time while the narration of the two main characters blurs into dialogue and vice versa, the lines often cryptic and questioning. Perhaps we are seeing John’s flashbacks as he tries to make sense of his relationship with Kristy? We see their first meeting, her first ‘show’ for him, and finally the two of them on a bench. Rather than being jagged, the short fragments of scenes result in quite a soothing watch, the cuts smoothly flowing into each other, aided immensely by Dominick Sivilli’s lush photography, which intriguingly even seems to make beauty out of what is obviously a very seedy club. Certain lines and shots are repeated, and I was reminded somewhat of Nicolas Roeg and his often elliptical storytelling. Meanwhile the tale we see told, or rather partially told, is ambiguous and may very well leave you with more questions than when you began watching the film. This is clearly, I think, the intention of Kipp and his writer Joseph Firollo, and, even if I was puzzled a little by what I saw, the main subject it seems to hinge mostly on – how it might be possible to know too much about someone and how some things might be best kept secrets – is a universal one and certainly one I can relate to.
The Days God Slept contains an excellent performance by the lovely Lauren Fox, an actress who has appeared in films like We Need To Talk About Kevin and Pi but never quite hit the big time. She seems to be playing to some extent a male fantasy, but one that manages to feel like a ‘real’ character too. Her main co-star Malcolm Madera has a strong, strange presence as he plays a person whom we never really learn much about. A religious element puzzled even me a little too much, but overall this is a very strong work, visually striking, highly atmospheric and full of food for thought. I would like to see more of John and Kristy, but that would ruin the mystery, wouldn’t it? What you take away from a film like this is more down to your own experiences and attitudes.