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The Independent Critic

Directed by
Jeffrey Reyna
Written by
Tracey Birdsall-Smith (writer), Kevin B. Coleman (screenplay)
Tracey Birdsall-Smith, Stuart McClay Smith
Running Time

 "Tick Tock" Review 

I like films that make you wonder about the minds that created it. "Tick Tock" is such a film. In less than 10 minutes, director Jeffrey Reyna and writer/co-star Tracey Birdsall-Smith manage to create a journey that defies expectations and is breathtaking in its resolution.

In "Tick Tock," time is relative. Kitty (Tracey Birdsall-Smith) and Jasper (Stuart McClay Smith) are in what seems to be a "forbidden" relationship with all its challenges, obstacles and emotional traumas. Both lead performers bring vividly to life the emotional turmoil of this forbidden love, and yet they do so in a way that leaves the viewer on edge wondering exactly what about this relationship is so forbidden, so intriguing and so striking.

Is this an affair, perhaps?

Is this, maybe, young love gone awry?

Is this the story of a jilted lover?

Is there more?

"Tick Tock" would be a risky, boundary-pushing film were it to be a full-length 90 minute feature film. It's unfathomable to introduce such powerful, boundary-pushing subject matter within the context of a less than 10-minute short film. Yet, somehow, the mission is accomplished. The story unfolds simply yet powerfully as layer upon layer is stripped away until we are left holding in our hands the tragic story of love forbidden and complicated.

Beautifully photographed by Alex Lehmann, "Tick Tock" paints images of both stark realism and subtle spirituality throughout its run time. Without ever feeling rushed, "Tick Tock" captures both the romanticism one encounters when embracing a forbidden love in its purest form while always, ever so quietly, bubbling emotionally underneath its surface.

"Tick Tock" will be on the film festival circuit throughout 2010. For screenings near you, be sure to check out the film's website.