9th JUNE 6PM
An ambling reflection on loss and summer bliss, Walkman gives a fresh take on the age-old story of loss, death, grief and remembrance. There’s a touch of Lynne Ramsay to the visuals and influence of sound over the picture, as scenes set in farms, forests and beaches completely capture the emotional resonance within the story, alongside an upbeat and characterful soundtrack, with the use of Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are a-Changin’’ adding a particular note of bittersweet into the final product.
Whilst the film does explore loss and the darkness we all associate with it, writer/director Aaron May has discussed taking influence from a number of more light-hearted film sources, including Wes Anderson’s body of work, Pulp Fiction and Guardians of the Galaxy. In relation to Moonrise Kingdom (the clearest Anderson influence), he very intuitively says “He [Anderson] makes adults children and children adults. When you’re a kid, you want to be grown-up and vice versa.” That idea of wanting to escape out into the wider world whilst clinging to those things that made childhood bearable (close friendships, a sense of exploration) creates the central underlying tension of the drama; it is about two worlds colliding, the protagonist’s nostalgic past and his more uncertain present.
Walkman is the sort of film we should encourage from young filmmakers entering the field. It’s a brave and thought-provoking piece that doesn’t try to be too clever or overconfident for a first attempt. Instead, the creative talents behind it have set themselves a small but ambitious goal and have triumphed in not only reaching it but also in making the film feel as though it has a natural progression rather than being crafted, something that more shorts should aim for during production.