No adolescent can escape the draw of peer pressure. From the directing duo Cliqua, Shut Up & Fish is the coming-of-age tale of Aiden and his initiation into his new clique. The story is a poignant window into Latino youth culture that addresses issues of belonging and identity. The film pushes Aiden to the limit, where he must decide to be part of the clique or jeopardize it all and stand up for his values.
The short film opens with the first step as Aiden (Victor Gonzalez) gets a new bowl cut from his friends. We then move to the middle of a lake, where Aiden shows his three friends how to fish. Everyone is having a good time except the clique’s leader, Edgar (Jayson Cuevas), who thinks it’s gay. Now, the true test of loyalty: girls. The guys start talking about the girls they’d “bang,” starting with Aiden’s sister. The pressure to compromise one’s values for the sake of loyalty is put to the test.
“…the coming-of-age tale of Aiden and his initiation into his new clique.”
Visually, Cliqua transforms their short into an art piece. Shot in black & white, the filmmakers pay special attention to the composition of each frame and the contrasts required to make every camera angle stand out. It’s no coincidence that Aiden is dressed in white while Edgar and the gang are in black. The extreme close-ups of the teens’ hairlines also play a role in the storytelling.
Storywise, Shut Up & Fish is about teens acting like teens. But Cliqua understands Latino culture and makes an emotional connection with anyone who ever made it through adolescence.
For more information about Shut Up & Fish, visit Cliqua’s official website.
"…a poignant window into Latino youth culture that addresses issues of belonging and identity."