*. Just a campfire ghost story, and I have a feeling it’s one I’ve heard before somewhere. Even the set-up is so old it creaks. If you’re looking for another turn of the screw in 8 minutes that’s expecting a bit much. You know anything bought in that antique shop is going to be cursed. And the old man (Pedro Monteiro) is even given a warning!
*. Just by the way, for various reasons not worth getting into I’ve been doing a lot of jigsaw puzzles myself recently. A number of these come by way of flea markets or yard sales (they are quite expensive if you buy them new). And the percentage chance that a puzzle bought in that store, in that box, still had all the pieces is approaching zero. But of course it’s a magic puzzle so that doesn’t matter. I also think it’s strange that the puzzle doesn’t have a picture on the front of the box, or anywhere else, showing what it’s supposed to be of. That makes it a lot harder, though not impossible, to solve. I have a neighbour who thinks that looking at the picture is somehow cheating, but she’s a bit weird.
*. Of course the real puzzle, given all this, is why the old man wants to buy that puzzle anyway. There are some clues. He seems to live alone but there’s a photo of a younger man and a woman. He and his wife? Then he puts on a record and it plays “We’ll Meet Again.” Does this amount to some kind of death wish? How does one interpret the chiming of the clock? His time is up? And washing his face? A sort of ritual ablution before crossing over? I mean, clearly he doesn’t seem that interested in saving himself from the doom peering over his shoulder.
*. But while I can understand wanting to die so — perhaps to be reunited with his wife but maybe just to put an end to such a dull and lonely existence — why choose such a nasty way to go? Embracing one’s fate is one thing, but this particular fate?
*. I ask these questions because they’re all the puzzle the film has. I liked it and though it was nicely turned out by the Al-Safar brothers (Basil and Rashad), but I wouldn’t call it scary, suspenseful, suggestive, or surprising. I’d say it’s made for the campfire but I think we have to update that reference to the Internet. Short films are for browsing, and I’m not sure how much that changes our response to them. The world of doing jigsaw puzzles while a record plays in the background belongs to another age entirely. Can we still relate? With so many windows open, how concerned are we by the bogeyman appearing in one?
Available on YouTube here:
Is that you in the picture, Alex? Is it?
Does that old man look anything like Patrick Dempsey?? I think not!
By ‘old man’, do you mean Alex? A bit rude to just say it like that, surely…
Nope. You know very well I meant the old man in the film.
Not the old man in real life?
I’ve been told I have the same soulful eyes. But I don’t have a beard.
It could be arranged. So this film is about you?
I have been doing a lot of puzzles in lockdown. My sister picks them up at flea markets and I do them with my mom when I go to visit. So far no one has died.
How much do the fleas charge you for a complete puzzle? Are their markets well organised for insects?
Them’s the jokes…so are you picking films that reflect your own activities?
I don’t know what kind of rating they’d have to stick on movies like that. Certainly indecent, probably corrupting of morals, but also very dull.
Much like yourself. I can’t believe Fraggle thinks you’re Patrick Dempsey, you might have to do something about that or get a visit from Trading Standards.
I’m not saying I’m without some of Mr. McDreamy’s rakish charm.
I am. I’m saying it.
I never said he was! Just that he looked a bit like him.
Would would aspire to looking like Patrick Dempsey? Even Alex isn’t so badly off…
That sentence doesn’t make sense. Would would?? Edward?
Who would aspire, OBVIOUSLY!
Should have said that in the first place. Would would just doesn’t work. Also Shhh I’m trying to read your missive on Gordon Ramsey et al.
Hmmm. So a bloke sells junk to people including a magic jigsaw, then he goes and murders the person who bought it in order to sell it again? He’s not going to get rich quick that way really is he? Cliche scary music and rainy ambience too. Non of it made much sense to me.
8 minutes seems to be Alex’s concentrating limit right now, best not to say much about it.
Five minutes and then I start to lose it. I had to split this one up into separate viewings.
I’m surprised you made it through the full 8 mins. Well done!
But do you like puzzles?
only crossword puzzles, concise not cryptic.
You must be a genius. I’ve never been able to do crosswords. The clues mean nothing to me.
No I don’t do the clever ones, just ones where they give you a word and you have to figure out another word for it in so many letters.
I do the ones where you have to color in Top Cat’s waistcoat and NOT go over the lines.
Doesn’t count as a puzzle. Unless you have to connect the dots first to make his hat.
It was a puzzle to me.