Serpent’s Lullaby (2014) – By Kirsten Walsh

I admire short films. It is within a short film that a filmmaker can truly show their talents on a scale that challenges them with providing an entertaining product in an extremely limited amount of time. Patricia Chica is a filmmaker that has become quite versed in the short film language and has done nothing but excel with her controversial and unique pieces. In her most recent film, “Serpent’s Lullaby” (based on the legend of Medusa), she once again demonstrates her extreme knowledge and talents.

“Few people know the name of the eccentric woman living in the centuries-old mansion just outside of town. Even fewer have seen her face. But everyone has heard the stories. Rumors of a secret garden in her backyard where her children are buried. Some think she is simply a grieving mother seeking solitude. Others believe she’s a cold-blooded monster. When the empty baby’s crib in her home becomes too much for her to bear she ventures out in public, and soon everyone will know the dark truth.”

The film, which clocks in at just less than 13 minutes, is set up beautifully. With incredible cinematography and beautiful coloring, we follow along the story of a woman who is cloaked in grief and mystique. With intense imagery that intercuts with the following of the women, we see several snakes, and- most telling, figures made of cement. The cement styled makeup is beautiful and looks extraordinarily real, as if the male figure shown in the intro is truly stuck in stone.

The story is more tragic than scary, more sad than spooky. A story of loss and love, and not necessarily vengenance. The film speaks to the audience in many ways, and the technicalities of it all do everything to aide that. The serene music, the smooth and flowing camera motions- it all plays into the movements of the film. Chica’s style of filmmaking is truly based around the story of the film, and rightly so. She puts the story into the audience’s hands and tells them to make interpretations. A matter of show, not tell. The film has very little dialogue, and Chica leaves it all to viewer.

Would I watch it again? Hell yeah! This film is ideal for its length, beauty, and technical excellence! There are big things ahead for Patricia Chica!

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