Christopher Beech, Lynne Sellers, Mike Parsons, Josi St. Tovi, Hannah Dykins, William Banks, Ryan Porter, Hu "Ronnie" Yanrong
Christopher Beech (Story/Writer), Chris Khosa (Story)
"Rock & Roll" Continues Successful Fest Run
U.K.-based filmmaker Christopher Beech's rock n' roller fantasy gone awry is continuing its successful festival run despite the inherent challenges of a world gone COVID mad and a festival circuit that has become decidedly more uncertain. The 29-minute short film stars Beech as Johnny Ghost, a wannabe rock star on the eve of his biggest gig ever and that "one shot, one opportunity" that Eminem shouts about and nearly every bandmember dreams about.
There's just one problem. Increasingly surreal circumstances are making it increasingly difficult for Johnny to leave his apartment.
"Rock & Roll" is a fun little short that has already had quite a bit of success on its festival journey including picking up several prizes at DRUK International Film Festival (Critic's Choice Award, Short Film), Florence Film Awards (Honorable Mention: Fantasy), L'Age d'Or International Arthouse Film Festival (Winner, Short Film), and Virgin Spring Cinefest (Silver Award, Best Short Film). The film has screened at nearly 30 film festivals and Craig Berry's gorgeous, mostly black-and-white lensing and off-kilter spirit seem tailor-made for the indie fest scene.
Beech's Johnny Ghost feels as if he could have stepped out of Rock n' Roll High School, an enigmatic mystique matched by his at times unintended wit and solemn smirk that makes you laugh even when he doesn't say a thing. It's a fun role and Beech definitely has fun with it.
The film's supporting players are a little more hit-and-miss, though Josi St. Tovi definitely hits a homer as Josi Ghost makes you wish we could get a sequel based entirely on him. Mike Parsons, who also contributes the film's original music, shines as Fiend.
The story that unfolds in "Rock & Roll" is more than a little unique, a quirky tale that is part homage and part parody that also dips its cinematic toe into moments of humorous sincerity. It's what rock n' roll films are supposed to do - give you characters you enjoy no matter how silly, obnoxious, rude, or inept they become. You'll enjoy these characters throughout the film's 29 minutes and you wouldn't mind spending even more time with them.
While COVID-19 is causing chaos at fests worldwide these days, "Rock & Roll" is a film to watch for as things pick up again and the indie short picks up its festival pace. For more information on the film, visit the filmmaker's Facebook page linked to in the credits.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic