A short film driven by an outstanding lead performance, Chasseur is an atmospheric tale of good and evil, set in the blistering deep South of America. Consisting of a powerful and captivating monologue performed by writer/director/actor Christopher Soren Kelly, interspersed with dramatic scenes of its protagonist, the consumed Louis Chasseur, hunting the devil – Chasseur is a thrilling period piece with a storyline and aesthetic as sweltering as its sun-drenched setting.
“Someday, they will write them books, they will sing them songs, they will put up them statues to the sky…for the man, what killed the devil”
Initially developing the film as a “calling card and springboard for the actors and filmmakers”, director Kelly revealed to Short of the Week how Chasseur’s storyline originated when developing the character for a longer piece.”Chasseur is a snippet taken from a feature film script called The Death of the Swan“, says Kelly, “I was working on the character of Louis Chasseur, improvising in the dialect, when Louis informed me that he’d met the devil as a child (much like the opening monologue of the short film). Everything in the story flowed from that moment”.
“Six friends who know what they are doing is the best film crew in the world” – Director Christopher Soren Kelly
Pretty much on-screen for the whole of the film’s 15-minute duration and often staring directly down the barrel of the lens spitting out lines as if his life depended on it, as I alluded to earlier, the driving force behind the film is undoubtedly Kelly’s performance as the obsessed Louis Chasseur. That’s not to say the rest of the production is weak (the photography deserves a lot of credit for giving the film its stifling feel), but if Chasseur is acting as a showcase for what this production team can achieve, then Kelly steals that show. One of the criticism we can often have with short films is that characters feel underdeveloped and unbelievable (which in turn often leads to not being able to invest and connect with a story) – but that’s certainly not the case with Kelly’s Chasseur – he feels all too real. His performance is so convincing and credible it almost feels like the actor has been consumed by the complexities of the character he has created.
Having just premiered their new short Monkeys at Dances with Films festival, Kelly and his team also plan to shoot lyrical Sci-Fi feature The Tangle over the summer, along with developing two other features, including the feature version of Chasseur. In the meantime, if you want to show Chasseur the short some love, hop-over to their Facebook or Twitter channels and tell them what you thought of their film.