BEYOND WORDS Review

Jane Clark’s latest short film BEYOND WORDS is another impressive achievement. A dramatic narrative about a former ballerina who gave up her passion for dance to pursue a family, the film is skillfully acted and wonderfully captured.

A tight narrative BEYOND WORDS uses unique compositing techniques to tell the internal monologue of a beautiful dancer (played by Barbara Costa) who longs to dance again. At times, the protagonist splits on screen and an inner version of herself displays what she is feeling on the inside—anger, despair, and dance come to life in the less opaque apparition of herself. The ballerina’s husband (Ryan Culver) finds it difficult to relate to and understand his wife’s emotional strain. If only he could see the ghost she projects.

Continuing a familiar theme in Clark’s work, BEYOND WORDS touches on an important social issue—career vs. family. At one point, the ballerina tells a friend that she could have taken care of the pregnancy thus not interrupting her promising career on the stage. The tension between career and family is ever-present, especially in the United States where vacation time is held to an absolute minimum. Finding the happy medium can be very tough. WORDS hints at a resolution, which could be explored more fully in a feature version. The angst on display here is real and viewers should bond with the ballerina’s plight—simulating conversation will follow, I’m sure.

For more information about BEYOND WORDS, which is screening this weekend at the DC Independent Film Festival: http://dciff.bside.com/2010/films/beyondwords_dciff2010

For more information about Jane Clark’s work visit: http://www.filmmcqueen.com/

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