Anyone who has ever been involved in bare bones, D.I.Y. film production will appreciate this amusing short by Rick Dorrington, a student at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
“Action” takes place in a living room where a young director is trying to coach his father – a salesman with no previous acting experience – through a scene where the older man is supposed to be a cocaine-addicted mobster who is making violent threats during a telephone conversation. The father is never comfortable with the Mamet-style dialogue, and endless takes become a struggle in control as the older man grows frustrated with the task while his son slow burns his way through the ordeal. Intrusive comments by the director’s mother (who is furious that the scene involves cigarette smoking) and a beer-swilling videographer, coupled with some long-simmering father-son feuds that abruptly pop up, adds to the mayhem
The resulting film is a wonderful slice of comic pain that should provide a resonating warning about hiring relatives for tasks they cannot perform. Which is ironic, since Dorrington kept “Action” in the family: his father Brian Dorrington is very funny as the amateur actor and his brother Brian Jr. excels as the exasperated director. And in a compact 10-minute running time, the Dorrington clan is wise enough to know when to call “Cut!”
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