Film run-time: 9 minutes | Starring Brittney Grabill, Manny Jacinto, Kurt Ostlund
Directed by Brittney Grabill, Written by Josh Ssettuba, Produced by Mary Rachel Gardner
“Chocolate Cake“, a 2017 short film by Brittney Grabill, is a romantic conjuring of the tangential ideations that exist in every charged moment—a visual poem of the mind engaged, leapt into possibilities, wakefully conscious to rummage for rationale and insight. Jenny and Tim are on a date, and as they share a slice of cake together, scenes from a shared life suffuse their imagination.
Sculpted as a series of matching cuts that traverse time and marry gesture with action, Grabill illustrates the connectivity of memory with the minutiae of endeavour, successfully crafting a tactile association that is as fluid cinematically as it is an earnest representation of the emotional physiology partial to the human experience.
The film’s free-form temporality, isolatable as moments out of time, is potent towards a statement of universality. Jenny and Tim, effigial of Eros, are not only one couple, but in essence every couple. In enacting a contemplation that is a template of the gamut of courtship, their journey becomes emblematic of the simultaneously complex and stunningly simple act of what it means to love.
Grabill’s grasp of the language of romance is that of an astute observer: she is able to express, with a deft control and dissection of pictorial elements, the degree of intimacy conveyable by nonverbal cues versus what may be formulated by speech. By revealing secret yearnings beneath social pleasantry, “Chocolate Cake” embodies the silent revelations that imbue ubiquitous passions.