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The Independent Critic

Starina Johnson, John Ferguson, Theresa Meeker, Ryan Pickett, and Alison Parson
Ryan Pickett
Ryan Pickett, Spenser Fritz

 "Look" Review 
"Beauty exists in the mind that contemplates it. It's in the blink of an eye we find it... and in the blink of an eye we lose it." -
                                                                                                       Emma from "Look" 

Winner of an Accolade Award of Merit for Best Student Film and an Award of Merit from the Best Shorts Competition, Ryan Pickett's Look is a film that will leave you reflecting upon its imagery long after its closing credits have rolled on by.

The story itself is quite simple - A female bartender named Emma (Starina Johnson) admires John (John Ferguson), a handsome patron. For a fleeting moment, the admiration is mutual. That is, until a beautiful model (Theresa Meeker) enters the bar seeking direction to her next photo shoot. Suddenly, the man's attention drifts towards the model and after she leaves he follows.

To describe the entire scenario would be unjust, for co-writer and director Ryan Pickett has constructed a beautifully photographed and elegantly realized 7-minute short that, at least in my own interpretation, examines the role that beauty plays in our lives and how it shapes our very existence and perceptions of self and others.

Words are sparse in Look, with Pickett instead relying on Shane Bartlett's dreamlike cinematography and extraordinary original music by The Other Deepak. The only other cinematic presentation that really came to mind while watching Look was, in fact, a music video ... that of the musical group Enigma and their song "Return to Innocence." There is something about Look that exudes just that type of innocence ... a return to who we are at our very essence. As Emma says so perfectly "Beauty exists in the mind that contemplates it." We can find it or we can lose it. It is, however, always there.

The casual moviegoer may be a bit more challenged by Look, a more festival friendly presentation with Pickett's experimental visuals and devotion to atmosphere and imagery telling the story more than linear thought. If you watch, really watch, Look then there's more than a fair chance you'll get it. However, if you're easily distracted or tend to require spoon-feeding of your cinematic material then Look may simply leave you scratching your head.

Shot with the Red One, the latest and greatest camera package to be sweeping through the indie world, Look has such pristine imagery that you may very well swear that it's the trailer for a much higher budget film. It's not, but it is proof positive that Ryan Pickett has a terrific eye for scene selection and telling the most story with the least distraction.

For more information on Look, visit the film's website.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic