Sean Gill‘s short film, The Everlasting Vintage, tells the story of a champagne connoisseur (Joe Stipek) who starts experiencing unique phenomena while admiring the bubbly contents of bottles bought at a certain antique store. While listening to the bubbles in his glass, he is transported back to the sounds of where the bottle originated from, and he quickly becomes addicted to the heightened experience. He oversteps his bounds with his “dealer” (Michael Porsche), however, when he becomes intrigued with a bottle from 1879 that isn’t for sale.
A stylistic tale, shot in black and white, the film plays out like an H.P. Lovecraft or Edgar Allan Poe story. The ever curious addict continues down a path that may not be good for his health, no matter how you interpret things. Even if something more supernatural or nefarious wasn’t going on, if you start listening to your drink and it makes you think you’re in another time, perhaps you should put your glass down and walk (stumble) away.
Beyond the classic feel imparted by the black and white, almost like a supernatural noir, the film also uses various dissolves, overlays and visual composition to keep the image and edit interesting. It’s a good thing too, because this is mostly a guy enjoying a drink while his voiceover does all the narrative work. It can get old fast.
And, frankly, it does get a little tiresome. Not so much as to make the experience tedious, but there is a moment when you wonder if this is going anywhere. When you do know where it is going, you wonder if it can get there just a wee bit faster.
Having said that, you don’t indulge those thoughts long, because the film really doesn’t overstay its welcome. It’s paced and handled in such a way as to induce an eerie, yet curious, mood, and it succeeds. Spooky and strange, but in an intriguing enough way.
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