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The Independent Critic

Matthew Aubrey, Jams Thomas
Joseph Ollman
16 Mins.

 "Meat on Bones" to Screen at London Short Film Festival 

Joseph Ollman's Meat on Bones is set for a January 10th screening as part of the BAFTA qualifying London Short Film Festival, the latest in a string of festival successes including Ollman's being named Director of the Month in November 2016 at The Monthly Film Festival along with screenings at BELIFF Film Festival, Around International Film Festival in Germany and a UK screening at the Chapter Arts Centre among others. 

The film is a nearly 16-minute realist film set in Wales that tells the story of Dai Pritchard (Jams Thomas), a middle-aged alcoholic who has isolated himself from his family and from the world, a world that he fully understands but that seemingly rejects him on a rather regular basis. When the naive, inexperienced council administrative assistant Gwyn Thomas (Matthew Aubrey) shows up with an order to evict him from his home, Dai responds the way he pretty much responds to everything. With violence. 

Of course, nothing goes quite as planned and soon Dai has to figure out what to do with a young man who is obviously from a very different world. 

Meat on Bones is an involving, rather matter-of-fact story that centers around two fine performances from the co-leads, Jams Thomas and Matthew Aubrey. Thomas is tasked, perhaps, with the more difficult task of turning an isolative, rather self-destructive alcoholic into an accessible and involving figure with whom you connect even if you don't identify. Thomas is more than up to the task, creating a character whose entire behavioral pattern is infused with a thin layer of sadness. Aubrey, on the other hand, takes a decidedly different character, a rather naive and vulnerable man whose entire life it would seem is lived in a different world, and infusing that character with a spark of light. They both give terrific performances and the performances are joined together by the low-budget short's rock solid production values including Christopher Spurdens's stellar lensing and Ana Garcia Rico's realistic, immersive production design. 

Filmed on location in Wales, Meat on Bones isn't an unnecessarily sympathetic film but it is a warm and richly humane one with two characters having to figure out how to function together despite their different backgrounds. It's a short, authentic story that feels true and it's that truth that draws you in and doesn't let you go.

For more information on the film, visit its website linked to in the credits. 

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic