Stardust 73 Image

Stardust 73

By Alan Ng | October 21, 2021

In Kai Van Der Putten’s short film, Stardust 73, Roger (Ara Franklin) is returning to his room at the Stardust Motel following the death of his mother (Claire Clark). As he lays in bed, he is haunted by his mother’s warning that “you need to learn to take care of yourself.” Now, Roger must decide whether to move on with life without her guidance or… well, not.

Writer/director Van Der Putten explores that moment in a person’s life when they are forced to mature from child to adult. In the case of Roger, he’s put it off for far too long. Now alone, he attempts to find love and intimacy by various means but primarily through a vision of his dream girl (Laura Smith).

“…haunted by his mother’s warning that ‘you need to learn to take care of yourself.'”

Stardust 73, as you’d imagine, takes place in 1973. Style-wise, the filmmaker tells his story through the lens of an 8mm camera made popular at that time. He masterfully transitions various clips of Roger’s thoughts and memories in dream-like sequences overlayed with some water-stained and oversaturation effects.

Franklin gives a good performance and hits all the right notes. While the story’s emotional beats run high, knowing a bit more about the protagonist’s adult life before his mother died would have given the proceedings that much more weight. Nevertheless, Stardust 73 is a poignant and haunting tale.

Stardust 73 (2015)

Directed and Written: Kai Van Der Putten

Starring: Ara Shehegian, Laura Smith, Claire Clark, Michel Cuillerier, Maria Wakefield, Shima Razavi, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Stardust 73 Image

"…a poignant and haunting tale."

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