‘The Keeper’ (aka Il Custode) (Short) Review

This short film was sent to us by the co-writer/director Marco Di Gerlando, who shared the writing/directing duties with Ludovica Gibelli.  Their website explains that they made the film at The Little Shop of Fantasy (the site is in Italian, for those that click the link), a group that caters to bringing the arts to children, who often miss a real education in the quickly growing arts of music production and performance, film making, and painting.  In association with Zuccher Art, The Keeper was produced with what seems was an entirely child crew, with the exception of the main actor, and maybe a camera operator.

I apologize in advance if I lost anything in translation, my Italian is worse than my Spanish, which isn’t very fluent to begin with.  However, from what I can gather, the directors also directed the photography for the film, although I’m not sure who operated the cameras.  Either way, the film looks better than the majority of short films I saw in film school, and unfortunately, even some I’ve seen outside of school.

The film starts off with a group of young kids (one of which is Ludovica Gibelli’s sister Camilla Gibelli) all sneaking onto an old manor, when a somewhat creepy looking man begins to try to seek them out.  In a series of clever shots, he barely misses the kids a few times, until he begins to catch up with them one by one, until they mysteriously disappear, but the man continues on.  When he finds the last kid, he chases him down, in a conclusion you won’t see coming.

While I have a few complaints about the short (there is some shaky handheld and a few mysterious jump cuts), for the most part, there isn’t a lot to complain about, and the film looks professionally made.  It was only when I ventured to the websites that the directors provided that I realized it was a film made by children, who by the looks of it, are all preteens at the oldest.   Having suffered through numerous terrible short films, I can tell you that these kids have a promising future if they decide to continue making films, because while the story isn’t terrible complicated, it’s effectively told, and you don’t know what’s really going on until the final scene.  It’s refreshing to see people so young that are doing such professional looking projects, this may be the next generation of great Italian film makers, following in the footsteps of the likes of Bernardo Bertolucci, Frederico Fellini, and Sergio Leone.  They might be only kids, but they prove they’ve got something to say as well.  I look forward to seeing what they do in the future.

7/10

You can watch the short for yourself via YouTube, posted below.

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