Perception is what makes up the human experience. We see, we judge, we form opinions. When judging Moon-Shaped Eggs by its exterior, audiences are likely to find a very brief and very quaint tale of familial strife, but the context and the subtext of this curious little short reaches across all social parameters. Although it is a decidedly simple film, the emotional depth and warmth that it can drag up is something that is far from expected. Written and directed by New Yorker Phil Giordano as he lives abroad in Singapore, this short film finds a filmmaker who has transplanted himself within another culture and finds truths that are universal. The short, which takes place during Chinese New Year, tells the story of a man who no longer finds himself with a family to call his own. When we start the film, we know that he has a daughter of his own that he loves dearly, but the relationship that he has with his estranged wife is not a pleasant one. To go with this, he suffers from bouts of jealousy over his wife’s new lover and her ability to form a new home.
The short is only six minutes in length, but we understand many things about these characters within this brief amount of time. Giordano manages to squeeze his narrative down into a somber tale that speaks volumes to its audience on a personal level. Having many friends who feel the same way about their current lives, especially when dealing with families and former loves, Moon-Shaped Eggs hits upon tangible elements that spoke vividly to me. While this isn’t exactly "my life" being told onscreen, I know this story and I know these characters. Whether they are in Singapore or in Louisiana, we are all formed of the same elements and we all occasionally hurt because of the same things.
From a technical standpoint, Giordano is on-point. The movie looks great and the performances are surprisingly strong for a project such as this one. The protagonist of the film carries a slightly melancholy sensibility within him and he expresses it in every scene. As the film goes on, his heartbreak is so easily relatable that viewers can’t help but feel for him. While I do not want to spoil the short, especially since it is so brief, I will say that it does manage to end on a very touching note. This one isn’t entirely bleak and the filmmakers managed to craft a story with good intentions behind its corners. So, it goes without saying, if you have the opportunity to check out this short, I highly recommend that you do so. You can read more about the filmmaker via his official website: http://www.philipgiordano.com