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If Only Bugle Boy Sweatshirts Could Talk: a Portrait of Youth in the Short Film 'Dread'

10.30.12 @ 1:34AM Tags : , , ,

The short film format has the capability for interesting and experimental projects because most shorts only have to sustain your attention for minutes, and not hours. Many shorts are a story and a punchline, while others are a dreamy snapshot of life. A.G. Rojas’s Dread would better be described as the latter, and the text beneath the video is where I derived my title for this post: “A story about a few hours in the life of a Bugle Boy sweatshirt.” It’s a bit of misdirection, but in an interesting way it’s also a perfect description. The under eight minute short film is worth a look, so click through to check it out.

The film has some NSFW language:

Some may look at this as more of a music video, but the great thing about this format is that it doesn’t always have to entertain, sometimes it just wants to let you experience something for a short period of time. The character in Dread is something of an amateur drug dealer and has a love interest and a few interesting friends. He also seems to have gotten himself into a bit of trouble, but beyond that, we don’t know much else, and really, with the beautiful cinematography, I could watch him just “be” for at least 30 minutes.

A.G. Rojas also directed a pretty interesting music video for Jack White not too long ago:

Rojas was recently featured as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film, so you can read more about him courtesy of Scott Macaulay at Filmmaker.

What do you guys think? What kind of shorts do you prefer, those that have clear narratives, or those that take a more roundabout storytelling approach?



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Description image 6 COMMENTS

  • First why the hell does this have zero comments!!! Is it because we’re all giddy from news of sony releasing cameras that most of the usual suspects commenting here can’t afford?!

    Quite and accomplished director this Rojas guy and alot more interestingness on his – in his own words – obnoxious website. Cheers for the find!

  • Christian Anderson on 10.31.12 @ 8:20PM

    I liked it. Very moody and well shot. It reminds me very much of Gus Van Sant. Perhaps a little too much.

  • Absolutely gorgeous, and I agree with the Gus Van Zant similarities, very Elephant like.

    This is one of the reasons that I love the short film format, you can make films in a way that might not sustain audiences at a typical length, but can enthrall viewers for a brief moment in their day, almost like a daydream. You don’t have to tie yourself down to all of the functions of a full length plot, concrete beginnings, dramatic peaks, and story resolutions, but can instead drift into an understated moment and capture an emotion or a feeling, and then drift right back out again leaving the audience churning for more

    • Dave Kendricken on 11.1.12 @ 1:13PM

      +1! Beautifully stated Darius, I couldn’t agree more… I can’t even add to your comment to illustrate my agreement because I think you really said it all perfectly!

    • Yeah… You just said that too damn good..

  • At about half way through, I was done with it, but hung on because Den’s blog recommended it so highly.

    Shallow depth of field is no longer new. It get’s a little over done these days and really need the story to pull us along. Dark, flat, and depressing. That was how I saw this piece.

    On the up side, it was nice to see a short that doesn’t rely on guns to create tension.