Short films matter. Vimeo wants you to know it. So do we. That’s why every week we’ll take a look at some of the short film world’s best and brightest. This week, we bring you Jack Turits’ hushed drama Have Had.
The Plot: A young man and woman search for their own connection after a Mother’s death.
The Film: Time restraints often prevent short films from embracing subtext. Have Had doesn’t just embrace subtext, it revels in it.
Why Press Play?
Don’t fret too much about the word ‘subtext’. There’s plenty of action in Have Had. It just comes in the form of shy smiles and sideways glances. Even from the opening moments, you can feel the tension bubbling under every single frame of Jack Turits’ film. But much of the film’s plot is shrouded in tiny mysteries and things unsaid. By that standard, it’s almost unfair to talk about plot when talking about Have Had. There sort of isn’t one. Just a series of hushed moments between two people who don’t know what they need from each other. Or even what they are to each other.
Of course, when your film is fronted by gifted up-and-comers like Imogen Poots (Frank & Lola, Green Room) and Ben Rosenfield (Indignation, 6 Years) plot doesn’t need to be the focus. And Turits makes the most of his young stars’ talents. Rosenfield builds an innocent, overeagerness to Adam that’s at once charming and a bit frightening. There’s a stoic uncertainty in Poots’ Grace that belies a boundless but weary empathy just beneath the surface. Much of the tension throughout Have Had is derived from their abilities to give and take what they need from each other as actors without it feeling like acting. The awkward smiles and passing gazes that drive the action contain genuine emotion and curiosity.
Have Had often feels like a study in how much Rosenfield and Poots can say without really saying anything. To the point that Jack Turits builds his entire narrative around their silence. His film rambles for a full three-and-a-half minutes of inelegant interaction before we find out who Adam and Grace are to each other. But even that moment passes without much drama. It’s almost an afterthought. Yet it still ratchets up the emotional stakes. And it alters the context of every moment that came before it. Every moment that follows signals a subtle shift in tone as a result. Turits & Co. execute each shift with a chaste simplicity.
They do so without using tacky movie tricks. Without the use of overblown dramatic moments or showy cinematography (Joseph Aguirre’s work is downright stunning in its modesty). There’s no musical score to enhance your emotional investment. In fact, silence is the predominant soundtrack to the film. Yet Have Had still packs a hell of an emotional wallop. It’s silly and somber and creepy and heartbreaking. The drama sneaks up on you and pounces when you least expect it. Somehow it never feels like drama. Just a passing moment between strangers searching for something that might not be there. But maybe finding something in themselves along the way.
Meet The Crew:
Directed by: Jack Turits Written by: Ben Rosenfield & Jack Turits Starring: Imogen Poots & Ben Rosenfield Director of Photography: Joseph Aguirre Edited by: Paul Snyder
I hope you enjoy Have Had! Take note of Jack Turits’ name if you do. He’s already got an impressive list of short films to his credit. Have Had is certain to raise his profile. If Turits keeps attracting talents like Poots, Rosenfield and Aguirre, it won’t be long ’til we’re seeing his name on the big screen. Until that happens you can check out some more of Turits’ work over on his Vimeo Page. While you’re there, be sure to check out a few of the thousands of other short films – animated, live action and documentary – the Vimeo team have made available for your viewing pleasure (via desktop or mobile device – SWEET!). You’re sure to find something interesting and you may just stumble across the next great filmmaker.