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Directed by Cameron Gallagher / Reviewed by Adva Reichman

Making it in the film business is a dream shared by millions around the world, but a reality fulfilled only by a selected few. The dreamers work tirelessly to get their breakthrough, but many remain just that, dreamers. The film industry waits for no one. It is tough, cruel and could very possibly chew you up and spit you out. ‘Old Hearts Café’ creators know that, so with their comedic short film they tried to expose the faces behind the Hollywood aspirations or more accurately, one face – Marcus.

 Marcus is a wannabe filmmaker whose real day job is a dishwasher in a café. Throughout the short film, we see Marcus in different scenarios as he constantly speaks to the camera and explains to the viewers the way he sees himself, his art and life in general. He invites us to watch him as he carves his own path and declares himself as having a recurring role in his own life saga.

 At the very end, the audience gets to see one of Marcus’ creations where through various shots of nature, we hear his philosophy and understand his state of mind.

As much as it is entertaining hearing Marcus talk about life and film, I missed seeing him actually living it. We witness Marcus in various locations, but he is always alone and fully aware of our presence there, watching him. Seeing his actions and interactions with others could have added to his character and reveal his true self to us. Thus, introducing a whole new side of him.

 I also wondered why we needed the two-minute introduction at the beginning of the film. During that monologue, the actor, Ken Holmes, who plays Marcus, explains his role in the production and introduces the other filmmakers who joined him on this film and lists their achievements. I understand it was an artistic choice and that the way the information was given delivered a dramatic beat that helped set us in the mood and explain what’s to come, but I personally did not see the need for that. The film was not made for the audience to learn about the filmmakers’ prior experience, and the dramatic amusing addition it gave could have been put to better use by showing Marcus interacting with the outside world.

 Cameron Gallagher, who directed, shot and edited the film gave it its unique sense of style. The small, yet efficient team, managed to shoot this short film, while keeping Covid 19 restrictions in place. Indeed, an impressive job all around. Ken Holmes, who also wrote the script, played the lead and brought Marcus’ tortured, dramatic, artsy character to life while still keeping its charm and likeability.

 This short comedy presents the whacky clichés of struggling artists and the way they see themselves. Marcus’ own definitions of what it means to be a filmmaker is a sexually frustrated coffee drinker who tends to write in cafés, blogs a lot and drinks too much. And that says it all, folks. So, if you’re in the mood for a good laugh, sit back and enjoy, because Old hearts café is here to entertain you.


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