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Aug 162012

In Jamie Travis‘s “The Saddest Boy in the World,” a nine-year-old boy, smothered by a beautiful but oppressive and overwhelmingly disappointing life, decides to hang himself on his ninth birthday at the suggestion of several inanimate animals who talk to him as a side effect of the medication he is on.

Maybe it’s not for everyone. Fine.

Travis nicely acknowledges this in his note accompanying the film: “If you find this funny, good. If you’re offended, it’s okay—our paths were never meant to cross.” But, to borrow Maggie Smith‘s line (possibly borrowed from Abraham Lincoln) from the film The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, “For those that like that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing they like.”

Travis’s first feature film For A Good Time Call . . . is coming out this year and he’s decided to release all his previous short films: “I have long been reticent about putting my films online but I recently got over it. Maybe it’s because my 30s have lightened me up or because I have finally accepted the internet is here to stay. Or maybe it’s that my first feature film is coming out and now seems like a good time to get exposure for an underexposed art form—the short film.”

See all his short films on his vimeo site. For more nuanced introductions to his aesthetic and his short works so far, look to the Numero Cinq at the Movies introductions to “The Armoire” and “On Greed.”

And look for his first feature For A Good Time Call . . . in theatres soon.

— R. W. Gray

Apr 202012

“Why don’t we slice it in half? That’s like the nature of a bagel.”

“I want the whole bagel.”

So goes the romance when singing neighbors become lovers, drawn together by the promise of a buttered bagel in Jamie Travis’s short film “Greed,” one of the Seven Sins films anthology of films produced for Bravo!FACT.

The deliciousness of this short film is in the blend of genres: romantic farce meets musical meets tragic romance, with a little food network love thrown into the mix, which emphasizes how close “greed” is to “gluttony” perhaps.  NC at the Movies featured Travis’s short “The Armoire” a few weeks ago. Though Travis’s familiar aesthetic is here in the set design and the perfect stiff awkwardness of the shots, the tone is light, and the film seems to bounce emotionally: from desire, to hunger, to confusion, to surprise, to loss . . . all lightly, just as the camera lightly waltzes back and forth between their two windows.

In the center of the film, first she then he are featured in close-up shots, addressing the camera directly: we are caught between the lovers, caught between the disagreement over the bagel, caught at the precipice. In terms of montage, this is awkward, this is a harsh collision. This gap we stand in could at another moment be the obstacle to a kiss, but here it is certainty: that she will take all the bagel, and that he will explore other options. But the ending seems more sweet than sad or unrequited. They both seem clearer about what they crave.

The Seven Sins anthology of films were produced and broadcast for Bravo!FACT video on the Bravo network, each of the seven films directed by a different director, a list that also includes Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Joe Cobden, Anita Doron, Ann Marie Fleming, Bruce McDonald, and Larry Weinstein.

— R. W. Gray

Numéro Cinq at the Movies



Numéro Cinq’s unique and unparalleled collection of short films and commentary edited and (mostly) written by R. W. Gray. Other contributions from Jon Dewar, Douglas Glover, Sophie Lavoie, Philip Marchand, Megan MacKay, Jared Carney, Erin Morton, Julie Trimingham, Michael V. Smith, Nicholas Humphries, and Taryn Sirove.








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