So very happy to announce that we are nominated for Best Film at the Largo Film Awards (http://largofilmawards.com). And also wanted to share the reviews they sent over with their score for my film. The aggregate score was 7/10 and it was reviewed by 3 different judges. I don't know anything about them apart from the fact that they watched my film. I wanted to share the reviews with you now, in their entirety - the good and the bad. I am very grateful to the Largo Film Awards for actually giving me all this feedback, and I think it is invaluable for any filmmaker to see your film from a point of view of someone else, who doesn't hold back, so that we can make better and better films in the future.
Average Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
REVIEWER #1: 8.0
Explanation of Rating: Self-Control is a clever, pleasing short. It wisely gives itself one small conflict for its protagonist and spends its running time exploring and visualizing it.
Our protagonist can't stop imagining herself murdering her annoying co-worker. We don't know how long this has been going on, but today is the day she can't take it anymore. There's a growing sense of "Is she magic? Can these ideas manifest?", which motivates her to attempt to curb the situation by telling her boss and engage in calming techniques.
Self-Control's greatest strength is its aesthetics. This is a pretty short. From the credits to the costumes and sets, bright colors and imagery permeate. Coupled with off characters and a couple trucking shots, Self-Control is lovingly influenced by 90's-era cinema, particularly early Tarentino.
On the flipside, the lead wasn't very believable. I never felt she was angry or remorseful, and a different casting choice could have elevated the piece. The side characters were solid, but they didn't require the range that a short called "Self-Control" implies.
That aside, I had a ton of fun with Self-Control, and can't wait to see what Stanislava Buevich does next.
REVIEWER #2: 6.0
Explanation of Rating: Self-Control is an intriguing film, but one that’s difficult to know what to do with. It features sharp dialogue and a knack for tight scenes, but doesn’t quite allow the viewer to buy in completely to its premise. The opening scene is one such example: delightful in the simpering annoyance of Faye Sewell’s Becky, while the barely disguised disgust and rage from Joanna Kate Roger’s Lily compliments it perfectly. The moment the scene wobbles is during Lily’s murderous fantasy, which plays out and then vanishes at the drop of a hat, without any grounding rod to make an impact on the viewer. The rhythm doesn’t connect, feeling too stilted and staged rather than belonging to the film’s world (the same applies to the yoga scene – although the fiery red, lit-from-below aesthetic is spot on – where it plays out without any energy or passion in the moment). Other moments, like the dialogues between Sanjiv and Lily, are delightful, like a slowed down screwball comedy. Self-Control’s strength lies in its script, although even there, it feels like the film hasn’t quite decided what it wants to be: a dark comedy, a screwball, a high concept look at the everyday humdrum of the Devil, a romance, or a horror flick. Genre bending is to be expected, but the tonal inconsistencies weigh it down and lessen both the tension and comedy. Yet it’s still a fun film, and even though it doesn’t always connect, it’s original, well shot, and doesn’t tread lightly.
REVIEWER #3: 7
Explanation of Rating: Self-control makes a story of the pratogonist's deep conflict which comes to a moment to be visible to the others.
Self-control is a well-made film considering at all aspects, a great attention is given.
Photography is amazing with the full of creative touches. It is the strongest part of the film. Similarly a magnific editing has been done.
However, the same quality has not been presented in sound/music. Similarly acting performances are not quite strong.
But, overall the director has done a good job. I suggest this film to be included in the official selection.