Fresh off a premiere at the recently concluded Tribeca Film Festival, where it was one of our team’s favorites, noted music video and commercial director Harry Israelson drops his bite-sized comedic gem, Love-40, on Vimeo today.
Not a deep film, but short and riotously funny, the film stars Jack Henry Robbins and Lola Kirke (previously seen on this site for My Last Film) as an LA couple playing tennis at Griffith Park. Kirke’s character is a starlet on the rise, and there is evident tension between her and Robbins’ inattentive slacker character. The couple’s issues come to a head at an inconvenient time however when Kirke’s character ventures out into the neighboring hills to retrieve a lost ball and has an unfortunate encounter.
If you’re a fan of LA self-absorption, relationship comedies, and understated dialogue you’ll enjoy where Israelson takes you, as the film sinks its teeth in quickly, but lets the caustic humor linger. Robbins plays to type with strong affect, as his man-child character familiarly grabs laughs via contrast to macho concepts of masculinity, and Kirke’s understated weariness and sense of being above-it-all provides a great foil. Their relationship is fucked, but watching it blow up during a horribly inappropriate moment is simply good fun for us.
Israelson, though not featured before on Short of the Week, is well known to us for his music video and fashion work, which he frequently made alongside Harry Schleiff as the directing duo HARRYS. Now working solo under the Primary Colors banner, his diverse output includes one of Vimeo’s early Originals, the 2016 release Toro y Moi: Live from Trona, a concert film shot in the desert with no audience. Ways & Means, the stylish LA outfit known for its fashionable short films like Miranda July’s Somebody as well as innovative brand shorts for Kenzo, provide the production. A strong Tribeca for the company, they also had Jimmy Marble’s Ugh! in the lineup, which we can’t wait to check out.