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The Independent Critic

Robert Haulbrook
Michael Sharpe
Michael Cunningham
13 Mins.


 "The Destruction Artist" an Unforgettable Short Film 

Based entirely upon a monologue written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham (The Hours), Michael Sharpe's 13-minute short film The Destruction Artist is an unforgettable knockout of a short film featuring a layered and mesmerizing performance by Robert Haulbrook (Deviling).

In the monologue, the artist describes how he went from destroying his own mediocre canvases to inviting female victims of violence to enact violence upon himself.

It's disturbing. It's jarring. It's unforgettable.


While it could feel like exploitation, Haulbrook seems to instinctively know as much and crafts a more layered and emotionally complex than he did in Deviling and, as a result, there's a palpable authenticity at work here that keeps you watching everywhere he goes. It could have been so easy for The Destruction Artist to go over-the-top, but Clarke's disciplined and stylish direction weaves itself into Haulbrook's nothing short of remarkable performance in crafting what I'm guessing will already qualify as one of the year's finest horror shorts.

Though, if we're being honest, the word "horror" doesn't even begin to describe this film.

Both lensed and edited by Sharpe, The Destruction Artist is proof that you can create unforgettable and compelling cinema within the confines of a short film and, indeed, it's also proof that sometimes the written word and its visual expression are simply meant to be together.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic