STARFISH

(director/writer: A.T. White; cinematographer: Alberto Bañares; editors:Alex Elkins/A.T. White; music: A.T. White; cast: Virginia Gardner (Aubrey), Christina Masterson (Grace), Eric Beecroft (Edward), Natalie Mitchell (Alice), Shannon Hollander (Charlotte); Runtime: 99; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Aida Bernal/Tanroh Ishida; We Are Tessellate; 2018)

A fantasy story without much plot, of how one person survives loss and the apocalypse.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The auspicious directorial debut for writer-director A.T. White, who heads the U.K. based band Ghostlight. It’s a fantasy story without much plot, of how one person survives loss and the apocalypse when she loses her best friend Grace (Christina Masterson). Coincidentally, this happens on the day the world ends.

Aubrey (Virginia Gardner) is devastated. Still feeling the loss, Aubrey goes to Grace’s apartment and tries connecting with her through her things. There’s Bellini, her tortoise, several starfish and jellyfish in an aquarium. There’s also some starfish-shaped fairy lights and ornaments. After failing to reach her mom by phone, she closes her eyes and has a number of bad dreams. When awake, she sees the empty snowy streets and comes to realize that the world might have come to an end. Aubrey tries to deal with her trauma and make sense of the apparent apocalypse.

White’s tremendous score gives life to the film, as poor Aubrey is trapped in Grace’s apartment with the single cassette tape labelled… ‘THIS MIXTAPE WILL SAVE THE WORLD’ and is also trying to decipher a strange signal she hears.

The great music, the good performance by Gardner, the surreal images and the idea-filled narrative (with hints of H.G. Wells and HP Lovecraft) make this indie worth seeing. Though the ambiguous ending left things a little too unsettled for me.

REVIEWED ON 6/10/2019       GRADE: B
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