Short Film Review: Something in the Closet

Year: 2020
Runtime: 12 minutes
Director: Nosa Eke
Writers: Alexandra Kessie and Nosa Eke
Stars: Demii Lee Walker, Sophie Lovett, Sacharissa Claxton, Francesca Baker Smith and Delainey Hayles

By Georgia De Souza

The term coming out of the closet, which is commonly used when expressing the actions of revealing one’s sexual preference, is manifested in Nosa Eke’s film “Something in the Closet”, evoking a raw and realistic representation of the monsters that come with understanding your sexuality.

For years before I came out, I was beating myself up trying to understand my own feelings. I didn’t know what I was feeling, or how I was meant to deal with it, so ended up pushing it away. Eke effortlessly normalises the fact that there is often a battle in understanding your own sexuality, and to come out of the closet, you must defeat the monster.

Eke effortlessly normalises the fact that there is often a battle in understanding your own sexuality.”

The film opens up to gentle handheld camera movement with tight close ups of Madi (Demii Lee Walker), and Camille (Sophie Lovett) as they share a moment in the closet, accompanied by a soft legato piano soundtrack. The warm lighting of the closet alongside the cinematography enables a peaceful entrance into the film; however, the sudden key change and layered texture of violins as the titles appears on screen, changes the whole mood, opening up the true fearing emotions of discovering your own sexuality.

The 12-minute film follows teenager Madi, as she struggles to understand the attraction she feels to her friend Camille. The incident in the closet where she is kissed by Camille, suddenly released a monster inside the closet as it emerges into her everyday life – but she cannot seem to get rid of it. Whilst no one else can see or hear the red glow and noise coming from her closet, Madi is sure there is something, and is terrified of it.

Eke ensures that the obstacles that come with understanding your sexuality are not undermined or ignored.”

The awful moment of her sexuality being revealed creates a tense and powerful scene. The use of VFX, editing and sound heighten up the true feelings of coming out – the feelings I can still remember from when I came out to my parents.

In contemporary cinema, there are many films exploring sexuality and the emotions it brings, from the beauty of “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (Céline Sciamma, 2019), to “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” (Desiree Akhavan, 2018) and “Love, Simon” (Greg Berlanti, 2018), all these films have shown the fight the protagonist has had with their sexuality.

However, these films take a few hours to explore these emotions, but Eke does so within a short 12-minute time span. And whilst there has to be a limited amount of action and obstacles in order to reach the climax and exposition of the short film, Eke ensures that the obstacles that come with understanding your sexuality are not undermined or ignored, but work within the pace of the film.

She has curated daring characters, strong emotions and a tight narrative, presenting an emotional experience shared by many, but captured in an understanding and relevant way.

The sixth annual Scottish Queer International Film Festival will run 14 to 18 October 2020, with the full programme released in August.

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