Created for the Random Acts series that screens on Channel 4 in the UK, I Am Glad We Can Be Honest About This is a bizarre and unusual short that explores themes of murder, vengeance, lust, truth and loyalty. Shifting from saccharine song and dance routine to violent outburst in the blink of an eye, Alexander Gellner’s 6-minute short is a kaleidoscopic journey through the lives of a dysfunctional family.
“The pleasure of watching this film is that of solving a riddle that seemed to be unsolvable moments before”.
Consisting of a series of traditionally-animated, short vignettes that loosely fit together to build a bigger picture, I Am Glad We Can Be Honest About This certainly doesn’t follow a traditional path when it comes to narrative. Never settling in one place long enough for the viewer to really get accustomed to what is going on, it is a film that feels both unsettling and disorientating, but always utterly compelling. “Every scene is just long enough to establish one idea and then left for another”, says Gellner in a Directors Statement over on irresistiblefilms.com, “This creates a hasty mood, like switching channels on the telly, only that every clip has a very intriguing sequence…As the film progresses we can realise that most clips have something in common and interact with each other. Later shots continue actions that were started in previous and characters and signs reappear. We begin to piece things together and make our own conclusion. The “solution“ starts to appear as we see the relations of the characters unfold. The pleasure of watching this film is that of solving a riddle that seemed to be unsolvable moments before.”
Having first witnessed a 3-minute cut of Gellner’s short, totally unprepared on live TV, I was instantly impressed by the unorthodox storytelling approach and ominous tone of his film. Seeing it again now, I Am Glad We Can Be Honest About This hasn’t lost any of that initial impact and if anything, this longer cut has just added to the intrigue and atmosphere of his storyline. Carrying on the impressive style first witnessed in One Minute Puberty, it’s great to see something more narratively complex from this filmmaker and if this is an indication of what Gellner has in his locker when it comes to narrative short filmmaking, lets hope he makes another venture into this field in the immediate future.