Pietro Malegori's Short Film 'Birthday' is a Moving Portrait of Grief
Cinematography, when executed perfectly, can take a seemingly simple film to an entirely different level. Perfect frames and painterly lighting can transport you to another world. Birthday, directed by Pietro Malegori, uses its cinematography to convey the emotion of its characters, two grieving parents mourning the loss of their child. While we’ve shared films dealing with loss or grieving before, there is something about the way the frames seem to jump out at you like you’re watching a painting that is truly effecting. Click through to check out the short.
Here is the description below the video on Vimeo:
When we lose someone, a part of us dies. The other part hardly comes back.
A man and a woman, once parents are mourning the death of their son. On the day of his birthday.
I feel like I can’t mention the cinematography enough, and not because it detracted from the story in any way, but because it added to the story in my opinion. Many of these still shots could be hanging in a gallery somewhere, in fact, this entire film as a piece could fit well in a gallery setting. The dolly moves in particular pulled me in. Each time the camera got a bit closer to the characters, I leaned in a little more, and paid a little more attention to the faces and the emotions of the two characters.
There is always the opportunity to be heavy handed with these types of films, but even without any dialogue, I was fully engaged in the story. Being able to tell a story without dialogue also means it can mean more to a wider audience. If you don’t have to worry about subtitles and different languages, it lets the universal emotions affect the viewer rather than the delivery of the lines.
Did the cinematography add to your experience of the film? What did you think about the fact that the entire short was without dialogue?