JULY 18, 2023
There is no use for other words… Austin MacKay’s 'Hold On' is the best short film about sadness, depression and suicidal tendencies we’ve watched in our festival. This short is not just a simple short, but a complex trip to the edges of the human limits and beyond this threshold.
Right from the beginning we encounter two main characters with incredibly white skin, living seemingly separate lives and suffering from some diverse causes. The first one is lying in bed with his loved one being happy and living the moment. The second one is on the verge of leaving his house only to meet his former girlfriend. And from this moment on the story takes an unusual turn.
There are some literary constants in Austin MacKay’s 'Hold On' (characters, facetted fragmentarism of the universe and of the idea), working to create a context, being the perfect form for the cinematic desire of infinitely succeeding every element that makes up the universe (or universes?) found in this short. And speaking about literature, this short looks like it is a mixture of Sylvia Plath’s suicidal tendencies with Chuck Palahniuk’s angst and Theodore Roethke’s confessional style.
The score is good until the scene from the bridge where it becomes amazing. MacKay managed to create a 30-second scene with extremely powerful meanings and emotions. The pages thrown away then brought back by the wind is the key image of the past we try to forget and comes back to haunt us.
The ending is extraordinary – the phone call that goes from a world to another is the philosophical key of the movie. And going back to Palahniuk we’ve mentioned earlier, as in Fight Club the movie, the ending is a Pixies one. 'Where is my mind'’s iconic intro should have been the ending score that could suggest the rebirth of two destinies doomed to perish.
If Palahniuk, Roethke and Plath revolutionized literature with a confessional introspective discourse, Austin MacKay has the potential to be one of the chosen ones to revolutionize modern cinematography.
Review written by Vlad A.G