This powerful film from writer / director Jennifer Silver is actually a student effort from the film program at Florida State University. Short, and anything but sweet, this film explodes onto the screen with a refreshing burst of energy rarely seen in the student genre. While it might be fair to say the overwhelming majority of student films fall squarely into three broad categories of: art-house wannabe; Tarantino wannabe; or quirky / edgy slice of life pieces, this film instantly distinguishes itself from the first frame. Silver wastes no time establishing exactly where we are and exactly what we’re looking at. DP Sara Corkern deftly matches the pitch and energy of the movie with some really crafty lens work and smart compositions.
The arguable center piece though, lies in the performance of the two young leads, played by the very talented duo of Rebeca Robles and Ian Bossung. One has to see the performance to really appreciate just how fully realized the choices made by these actors were. For her part, Ms. Robles captured a depth of passion and sincerity that would have been impressive if delivered by an A-list performer twice her age. That she channeled that energy in this space and made it believable is truly a remarkable feat. Mr. Bossung was no less impressive, showing a nice range within a role a lesser actor might have tossed away.
I suppose one might say the project was ambitious, but not necessarily in the production itself. This is not to say the production value was poor, quite the contrary, really. But rather, it is to say this film keyed in on a critical piece of storytelling that so many young filmmakers miss — namely an interesting character in deep conflict, both internally and externally. In that regard, it was ambitious, because this was no easy story to tell and have it actually be believable. But, Ms. Silver stuck to her vision and was blessed with some outstanding casting for her effort. With that combination, she caught a little lightning in a bottle and showed off some impressive instincts along the way. If Rehearsal is any indicator, this is going to be a filmmaker to keep your eye on in the future.
If you’d like more information about this film or the program at Florida State University, please check out the link below: