From Greek mythology to Game of Thrones, the Dragon has been a staple of storytelling for aeons, but where most of these narratives focus on the epic battles with these legendary creatures, Julien and Simon Dara’s unusual short film The Ordinary is more interested in the aftermath. Opening with a scene of an exhausted man sitting on a lawn next to the dying winged-beast, the Dara Brothers’ short is one brimming with mood and emotion and the direction it takes in its second half is bound to catch many off-guard.
The Ordinary isn’t a film that fits easily into S/W’s usual narrative-driven curation. Feeling more like an epilogue than a rounded story, the Dara’s nine-minute short is an experimental film, sporting the skin of a Fantasy/Sci-Fi piece. Not looking to provide backstory or context, but instead intent on capturing a feeling (that might be best described as that “electric atmosphere” after a storm), I can imagine the Dara Brothers’ short will provoke diverse audience reaction – but it just felt too distinct to ignore.
When deciding whether to feature a short on our site, I often refer to the succinct ‘What We Look For’ section of our Submit page as a quick reminder of the values we’re searching for in our selections. Though The Ordinary lacks the more conventional approach to storytelling we tend to favour on the site, it fulfills a lot of the other qualities on our “wish list”.
- Does it break new ground and have us thinking about something in a new way? – I watch a LOT of shorts and I can safely say I’ve never encountered another film quite like The Ordinary
- Does it stir us emotionally? – this is a film all about emotion. You might not engage with it the same way you would with a more traditional narrative arc, but if finds new and interesting ways to portray a rich mixture of feelings.
- Does it exhibit great skill and craftsmanship? – the FX work on the dragon is stellar. As is the sweeping cinematography and the powerful performance.
Revealing too much about The Ordinary will almost certainly spoil its key asset – the surprise element! It’s a powerful, distinct short that deserves discussion – let us know what you think in the comments below.