G.A. George’s short film Until the Last Time tells a non-linear story about two old men trying to survive war and each other. Gippy and Dwight prepare themselves for what we can assume is a nuclear strike by locking themselves in a bunker. Immediately the two men begin bickering – about who forgot the can opener, etc. – but, they have good moments, too, as they go about the daily business of survival.
A cry from outside interrupts their mundane schedule, and, unable to stifle their curiosity, they let another survivor into their bunker – a girl, whose presence causes extreme tension. Until the Last Time argues that despite whatever survival instinct they may have, men will ultimately succumb to their violent tendencies.
This pessimistic view of humanity (or masculinity; the girl seems very timid with her shirt torn in all the right places) is aided by a bleak color pallet and the tight, restrictive angles of the bunker. The film works best when neither of its characters talk, and, instead, we see a sequence of short, non-linear shots of Gippy and Dwight bathing, fiddling with the radio, storing garbage, and all the other details of their new, imprisoned lives.
When the substantial arguments start, the film begins to look amateurish. The dialogue is a little spot-on and the acting is a little too eyebrow heavy. Perhaps Until the Last Time could have worked better as a silent film, leaving viewers to construct the story from carefully crafted cinematography. Instead, the dialogue eliminates any mystery, leading the movie to start strong and end predictably.
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