HOLLYSHORTS FILM FESTIVAL 2023 REVIEW! Writer-director Gregg Chilingirian’s short film, George, tells a sweet love story and then promptly hits you over the head like a brick. Chilingirian plays the titular George, who narrates his life story accompanied by what looks like hastily edited clips of family movies. Sort of like the opening to The Wonder Years.
In 1988, George’s parents met at a party, screwed around, and George was born. He was so eager to be born that his body and posture would be irreparably disfigured, reminding him to slow life down. When George turned 30, he embarked on a journey of freedom to live in Amsterdam. While taking a yoga class, he meets Kiyoni (Emma Gojkovic). It is love at first sight, and the pair moves in together. George would become vegan, buy organics, get a dog, and sit and talk about starting a family. The idyllic situation… until tragedy strikes.
“…his body and posture would be irreparably disfigured, serving as a reminder to slow life down.”
I’m not a fan of shorts that feature, for the most part, made-up clips of one’s life with a voiceover providing commentary on the proceedings, but somehow it works in George. Chilingirian finds that perfect balance in tone between comedy and tragedy. He’s not telling jokes, but a level of satire explodes in how he describes his life.
Then the tragedy is unveiled. The second half turns to a reflective seriousness as this theme of rushing through life, and one’s story takes a sad turn. As someone whose experienced tragedy recently, Chilingirian words reek of truthfulness and honesty as I reflect on the ones I’ve lost and my memory of them.
For me, the best stories are the ones that force me to think about not only what I just saw but reflect on life in general. George does precisely that.
George screened at the 2023 HollyShorts Film Festival.
"…that perfect balance in tone between comedy and tragedy."