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Vimeo Short Film Of The Week: ‘Strange Men’

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 Andrew Fitzgerald’s taut, tender drama Strange Men.

The Plot: Drifting along on the wrong side of life, Abby decides it’s time to go home … until a man starts to follow her.

The Film: It’s 2017, and there still aren’t enough strong female roles in Hollywood. Lucky for us, the short film world is not afraid to let a lady take the lead. Hannah Mosqueda doesn’t just lead Strange Men, she owns it.

Why Press Play?

We live in a world full of broken, beautiful people. Most of their stories will never be told. Any film that dares to tell one is worth celebrating. Strange Men is one of those movies.

This is usually the part where I spend a few hundred words talking about how much I love a film’s look. Or a film’s editing … its music or even its screenplay. I’m not going to do that with Strange Men. Not because those elements aren’t worth talking about. They are. Andrew Fitzgerald’s stark tale of life on the fringe is fully realized and expertly executed in every single aspect.

Strange Men is nothing if not an impressive technical achievement. But that notable work would be for naught without Hannah Mosqueda’s performance. The gifted young actor occupies nearly every frame of Fitzgerald’s 20-minute drama. In that 20-minutes she crafts one of the more memorable wounded souls you’ll find in any film – short form or feature.

That’s no small feat. Strange Men is an impassioned human journey. From the film’s inauspicious opening to its potent and painful finale, Mosqueda’s Abby runs the gamut of human emotion. She’s painfully self-aware and resolutely oblivious. She’s witty, intellegent, fractured and frightened. She’s a total smart-ass, but she revels in empathy. She’s a stone wall and she’s a crumbling levee. She’s often all of those things in the same moment. The emotional flood within seems ever on the verge of breaking through.

But Mosqueda never betrays Abby’s emotional journey. And she never lets those emotions boil over … even when she finally confronts the man who’s been following her. In that beautifully scripted scene, Mosqueda says more in her prickly silence than she does with her barbed comments. The moment is brutal but funny. It’s heartbreaking and heartfelt. More than anything, it’s authentic. It only works because of Mosqueda. And yes, that deserves to be celebrated.

Meet The Crew:   

Directed & Edited by: Andrew Fitzgerald  Written by: Andrew Fitzgerald & Sean Purtill  Starring: Hannah Mosqueda, Thomas F. Duffy & Jim Garrity  Director of Photography: Sing Howe Yam

I hope you enjoy Strange Men! This is one of those films that you should probably take note of every person involved. That’s particularly true of Hannah Mosquedo. In just her second film role, Mosquedo is already a presence to be reckoned with. And it should be an absolute joy to watch her grow. No word yet on what’s next of the actor, but hopefully we’ll be seeing her sooner than later. Andrew Fitzgerald’s future is less of a mystery. The director is taking a stab at the world of comedy for his Strange Men follow-up. That film is called I Know You From Somewhere. It has already wrapped production and should be hitting the festival circuit this year. But if you can’t wait that long, you can always check out some of Fitzgerald’s previous work over at 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.

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Patrick Phillips is a contributing writer for CutPrintFilm and geekinsider.com. When not critiquing the work of others, he spends his time drinking coffee, buying records, writing fiction and wondering why he never started a band. Follow him on Twitter at Patrick Phillips @savagedetectiv

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