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Film Fest Opinion Reviews SCAD

Desire for human connection resonates in ‘Bodies of Water’


By Lucia Artigas

“Bodies of Water” is a film about love at first sight and seizing the moment. The story takes place in 1982 and it follows Mash (Ellar Coltrane), a 24-year-old man, who struggles with isolation and the fear of rejection. One night after his tennis practice, Marsh meets Rivers (Roby Attal), a young man so striking who immediately charms him. Marsh is conflicted with the emotions he feels for Rivers, and cannot get him out of his head. Yet, one evening at the tennis courts, an opportunity presents itself and Marsh makes the decision to pursue his heart.

The movie had amazing cinematography and shot design. By capturing every glance and gesture, the audience could see the emotional struggles the character was going through. This short film is a great example of the saying “show, don’t tell.” We don’t need any dialogue to follow the journey of Marsh and his pursuit to connect with Rivers. The production design was particularly astounding as it set the 80s aesthetic nicely, and the color palette really tied together the tone of the film.

Director David Lykes Keenan was very successful in sharing a story that can resonate with anyone that has felt love at first sight. Keenan comments that he would not call this a “gay film,” but rather a story about overcoming our fear and the longing to connect with another human.

This movie seems to be relevant to this year’s film festival’s selection of LGBTQ content, such as “The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” and “Boy Erased.” However, I believe “Bodies of Water” was more successful in establishing emotional struggles by presenting subtle but powerful emotional cues, while the film “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” presents an explicit and loud emotional conflict for same-sex attraction.

Overall, this short film was successful in telling a story about the genuine desire to connect with someone.