Review: Transmission

Review: Transmission

In the midnight hour of British politics, with the current quagmire of Brexit, corruption of power and awful uncertainty, one man’s prison sentence feels eerily, creepily like a dystopian future not too far away. Figuratively speaking, of course… 

One man (Michael Shon, rising to the non-verbal role supremely) is kept in a dingy cell, teetering on a stool with a noose around his neck, with his eyes trained on a constant feed of images coming from a TV. His jailor (James Hyland, superb) appears to be more of a doctor, giving him meals (that disappear and provide no nourishment) and checking his clipboard (showing the man’s extensive crimes). 

Transmission seems to be about the cyclical nature of our entrapment within politics. Just when we think things are getting better, shown by our leading man wandering through a beautiful forest, we get sucked back in the same cell we started off with, with no change and even things getting worse.

The 35MM format gives a really nice touch to the film – the grainy visuals giving a realness to the surreal struggle. The cinematography is great, disorienting us between freedom and prison, until we are confused which is which. 

The questions raised in the film relate to us as active members in the political sphere – how much of the prison we are in have we constructed, signed off on, ourselves? How much are we able to change it, if at all? The corporate attire of the protagonist doesn’t go unnoticed – a regular worker with a serious list of crimes, is it to show what the average Joe is capable of, or what he will be condemned for? Interesting questions from a very creepy, but enjoyable short.

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Lauren Turner is an Australian media specialist and keen cinephile. She loves Robert Eggers and can be found at her local offbeat cinema in Melbourne.


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