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Film review: Fibs


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Now, “efficient” may seem like a bit of a backhanded compliment. It certainly isn’t the most emotive word out there. Efficient sounds like the way a charted accountant would describe his pencil sharpener. Compared to “sensational” or “moving”, efficient is a borderline insult when talking about art.

Yet that’s what this film is. Efficient. And in the best way possible.


Fibs is a 15 minute short by director James Sharpe. It centres on the emotional turmoil of Naomi, a teenager who’s hanging around a wheat field. We discover from a series of beautiful shots that she’s near the Bristol coast.

She convinces a friend, Josh, to follow her as she confronts her ex. It turns out that Naomi has been dumped by Owen, an older boy who she obviously still feels attached to.

That certainly isn’t how Owen feels, as he makes it beyond clear that ex-boyfriend is precisely what he wants to remain.

Crushed, Naomi returns to her house and mopes around for a bit. But she isn’t done yet. She has a plan to sneak into Owen’s house and tell him something shocking.

I don’t want to disclose any more plot than that, for a couple of reasons. Mainly it’s because this flick has a few twists and turns that would be completely ruined by me tapping away the plot, lodging it between a series of sex jokes and swearwords.

On top of that, this film is really really short, really really good and really really free on the internet.

So go watch it yourself because it’s definitely worth seeing. And you’ll be glad I didn’t ruin the heart of this movie.

What I can mention here is the style of Fibs.

It’s a film that makes a lot out of the quiet.

Silence, or near silence is takes up the bulk of this movie. There is hardly any dialogue between the characters nor are there excessive sound effects or overbearing musical crescendos. Even during the most emotionally climactic points the music never swells and there are no dramatic speeches.

Instead this film holds on the most dramatic scenes. The shots are long and there are no distractions. This film forces you to witness the emotions these characters are suffering. There’s no escape from their emotions.

You just have to sit there and feel what they’re going through. It’s a brilliant way of forcing you to sympathise (but hopefully not empathise) with the characters.

And that’s why I use this term "efficient". There are a lot of things you can do in 15 minutes. Grab a quick lunch. Watch most of the Llamas in hats series. Have a minor existential crisis. But developing three relatable characters is tricky in two hours, let alone half the running time of a Malcolm in the Middle episode.

Add to that the fact this film has barely any dialogue and you’d think it would be impossible for it to connect with the viewers. Yet this film uses remarkably little to give its audience a hell of a lot.

Watch Fibs online here.

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