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By Mark Bell | June 15, 2008

This particular short is difficult to review for two reasons: if you look at it from the context of how it is was made, it could be considered quite extraordinary. However, without said context, it could seem simply pointless. The question is, will the people who will be seeing this film be apprised of this contextual information, or will they see it cold?

All that said, “Plot Point” is a short film that uses random footage shot on the streets of New York City, particularly of cops massing during their routine anti-terrorist response drills, and adds dubbed dialogue and a soundtrack to give the illusion of a suspenseful crime drama.

Now, knowing that the short is essentially re-purposed “found footage,” what we see unfolding is amazing. The cinematography and onscreen visuals are tops, and the footage of cop car after cop car exiting city streets in a uniform manner is a unique visual experience I’ve never seen. Coupled with a menacing, suspenseful film score, the short gives the impression of something big to come by its end… though nothing ever does, sadly (as it is reality and not a scripted scenario with a true pay-off).

The dubbed dialogue is the main weakness of he piece, mainly it that it comes so low in the audio mix that even when you do get snippets of what people are saying, it still doesn’t really explain anything. You infer with the audio and visuals, but that only takes you so far as, again, you don’t know what you’re supposed to be building towards, and how that pay-off could work.

Outside the foreknowledge of this being an experimental “found footage” piece, the film could be considered confusing and pointless, as it would essentially just become nice visuals with a quality score and no real, discernible story. As it stands, I cannot separate the film from the context, and anyone who reads this won’t be able to either, but that may be in the filmmaker’s best interests. Or not. Again… difficult to say.

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