REVIEW- Happy Melancholy: On technicolour, imagination and crazy bananas



Diorella Mirsaol’s 3rd short film, Happy Melancholy, whipped up quite a little storm at the Cannes Short Film Corner this past year, and for 15 minutes that features scary bananas, pet goats and a flurry of flowers, its not hard too see why.

When strangers Penny and Gene meet in a closet, they discuss their desires to escape to somewhere else, somewhere colourful. Next time we see them we’re transported to a dizzying technicolour dream world where anything is possible and the flowers are in full bloom. The pair converse in a whimsical manner as they stroll the fields and parks, with a distinguishable dark humour under the surface. Its undeniably quirky and totally Wes Anderson-esque.

One particularly adorable scene in which the pair stick stamps to one another is overflowing with cute and the chemistry between Heidi Valkenburg and Chris Gibson is buzzing, but slightly distant in the best possible way. You know something’s not quite right under the sugar-coated surface and the appearance of a huge angry banana (a bad memory from Gene’s childhood) confirms this and spirals the remaining minutes into a brilliant realm of weird and wonderful. Gibson’s performance is completely striking and his wide-eyed look of wonder is distinctly child-like and alluring. These ‘deer in the headlights’ looks from both leads single-handedly assisted in the natural unravelling of each characters story, a fine achievement indeed.
With a lovely little twist right at the end, its clear that Mirasol has a knack for the whole package, wonderful direction, original writing and simply stunning cinematography. Definitely someone to keep your eyes on.
Watch this space for a Q&A with director/writer Diorella Mirasol in the very near future!

CHLOEChloe Leeson is 19 and from the north of England (the proper north). She believes Harmony Korine is the future and is pretty sure she coined the term ‘selfie central’. She doesn’t like Pina Coladas or getting caught in the rain but she does like Ezra Miller & Dane DeHaan a whole lot. Her favourite films are The Beach, Lords of Dogtown and Into the Wild. But DON’T talk to her about Paranormal Activity. She rants @kawaiigoff.

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