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Indie Review: Expiration

Starring: Janet Lane, Gavin Heffernan, Erin Simkin, Yetide Badaki, Denise Depass, Laen Herschler

Written and Directed By: Gavin Heffernan

     Only once in a while does an independent filmmaker come along who’s as ingeniously inventive as Gavin Heffernan. He has such a beautiful and inspiring style that his passion is evident in every frame of his movie. He knows every emotion that bleeds from the video in which he directed, and is honest with his audience. He’s an expert writer/director for a newcomer. The only thing that he needs to discover is what he wants the viewers of his film to take with them, after they have left the screening that they’ve attended. The characters in Expiration come in contact with profound feelings throughout the feature, but they seem to be the only ones affected by the plot. Nevertheless, as observers, we are fascinated by this film. In the future, Heffernan will be willing to share much more with his following, and hopefully, achieve something truly great. Expiration is a worthy start.

     This is clearly an amateur project, even though certain elements express maturity in the field. Because this is a low-budget film, one must expect some dry performances and gritty cockiness, before viewing it. However, these features are minor variables in Heffernan’s creative process. He is able to make Expiration work, crafting it with an unspoken life that feels quite enriching. The pacing and execution are crucial; these aspects are two of the most frequently impressive. Even though it’s simplistic on the surface, there’s a lot to be said in Expiration, and without the brilliant flow and melody in which it is presented under, it’d be a train-wreck. Without this, the material would seem unbalanced and lack resonance. Thankfully, it is done masterfully.

     While Heffernan certainly deserves as much praise as possible, the work of cinematographers Ben Dally and Sebastian Grobys is the highlight of the film. Expiration is true visual poetry; it symbolizes the characters through its shots, by showing us their personalities. This flick has a close relationship with its audience, and the cinematography is the only feature that allows it to open up. This aspect of it is unbelievably fabulous, and certainly acts as a lovely representation of art.

     Expiration is currently playing at various film festivals, and is hoping to see release in 2004. I’d definitely recommend seeing it, when it is available to the public; it’s a tremendous exercise and a captivating film. What more could one ask for?

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