Lonely fisherman Bernie (George Murdock) is out checking his lobster traps when he locks eyes with one particular lobster. The emotional connection is swift, and Bernie takes the lobster home with him. As the days go by, the lobster slowly turns into something larger, and more humanoid, as Bernie uses the lobster’s presence to soothe a loss in his life.
For me, Ian Samuels’ short film Caterwaul is a masterful tale of mourning. It’s not uncommon, when we suffer the loss of someone truly important to us, that we find a new affection for, or even breathe new life into, things around us. For Bernie, one particular lobster came to him at the moment he was most troubled, to help him work through his grief.
A quiet mood piece; the cloudy days at sea, and the darker days along the beach, almost translate the chill in the air through the screen. It’s a fantastical tale, but only in its attempts to visualize a universal pain.