'Frankfurt' by Nicolas Pacheco - NYU Tisch 2nd Yr Works-in Progress

A film like this could be potentially pretentious because of the attempt to make something out of nothing. ‘Nothing’ by layman’s standards – the act of abandoning an old sofa. Of course, in the eyes of the characters, the sofa means much more to them and the act of abandoning it is a philosophical journey. 3 friends, who supposedly act as themselves – film students, decide to abandon a musty and crusty sofa. One is regular bloke who just wants his beer at the end of the day. One is more or less the eye-candy (female) of the trio who is also more expressive and emotional. The last one, also capable of stealing the attention, is a gawky intellectual who is documents every moment in the sofa’s road to ‘heaven’.

Reminiscent of Tsai Ming Liang’s ‘I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone’, the sofa goes through a bumpy journey through a urban scape. While the feature imposes a kind of surrealism over a possibly realistic situation – workers salvaging an abandoned mattress, this short takes an unreal situation but makes it quite naturalistic. Poor sofa, after suffering bruises from a 2 storey fall, it tears from the dragging and lugging by the characters. Then, it has to take the pub-debris rubbish of beer cans and peanuts from the trio. Finally, it gets ‘executed’ by kerosene and fire.

The matter-of-fact, unpretentious acting in this potentially pretentious piece probably stems from the fact that they know each other pretty well as schoolmates. It actually becomes quite a treat as the film progresses to see the dynamics of their friendship and interactions. The best is, you know it is mostly quite real. Their reactions to each other, their final thoughts on the sofa, the quirks and touches of spontaneity… it’s a fine line between what’s real and what’s induced by having a camera pointed at them. Don’t quite understand the title though (unless it’s mentioned somewhere in the lines).
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