cathARTic (Devanny Pinn, 2011): Movie Review

cathARTic Movie by Devanny Pinn
by Jason Lees, MoreHorror.com

What I love most about our genre is to be surprised. Surprised, not shocked. I dig a good shock, too, but it’s the surprises that keep me coming back for more. Anyone can jump out and say ‘boo’ or pay someone to animate a giant robot into bursting onto the screen.

Shocks are fun, but pretty common. It’s the ability to surprise me that’s rare these days. The surprise doesn’t have to be huge. It’s actually better when it’s not. A big twist is fun, but when something just presents itself makes you smile, that’s golden.

How often do you sit down to watch a short film and think you have it figured out from the title? Kinda pompous of us, ain’t it, to think we know what’s going to happen? Most shorts that I watch are like little gory excuses to burn some film and throw up a twist ending. Most, not all, are like mini-acting reels used to promote the talent that produced them. Most, not all, are forgettable and seem pretty disposable. Most, not all, don’t say much.

Which is why I want to thank Devanny Pinn and Co. for the sweet surprise that was “cathARTic.” This short film written and directed by Pinn had me from the first minute and led me exactly where it wanted me to go.

The story follows a small group of artists as they perform and record their own kind of art. It’s not grandiose, but very claustrophobic, as the center of the piece become more and more into the light. Pinn doesn’t go the normal route of slow revelation, but rather presents her world to you and then lets her characters deal with it.

It’s in your face, violent, and at times hard to watch, but never loud or done in a way that tries too hard. We don’t get tricky or fancy camera angles (a sure sign of someone trying to hard to be noticed in this medium), but rather very deliberate story telling. Pinn surprises not by giving us a crane shot through the skull, but by giving us a film that doesn’t pander and doesn’t try to wow us with how clever it is. It’s just clever. No pretense. Accept it or don’t, she seems to say.

Not only did ‘cathARTic’ make me pay attention, it also made me a fan. Pinn is someone I’m going to have to watch for and keep tabs on. I’d hate to miss more of her work just because she’s a little off the radar. If ‘cathARTic’, even at only twenty minutes, is any indication of what this artist is capable of, then I better be ready for more surprises.

Devanny Pinn, Writer and Director of cathARTic

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