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KTV Film Festival: Buzz

Georgia Dack

Georgia is the website entertainment editor and is also an English literature and Film student; she (unsurprisingly) enjoys & likes to write about cinema, tv shows, books, music, and culture.

Buzz, written and directed by Henry Davis, is a film about making a film, in a film about making a film; luckily, it doesn’t get too wound up in this Inception-ised premise. It stars Harry Walton as Benny, a cinephile with a lot to say, who thinks he can do better than Hollywood. Struck with inspiration, he decides to make a film with his best friend (played by Alfie Count) about a group of filmmakers looking to prove the existence of bigfoot. Hiring a crew and cast, a chaotic production goes underway, and quickly, Benny’s passion and intolerable perfectionism turns him, and his film, into a monster.

It’s got some heavier and darker content, such as alcoholism and physical violence, but, balanced out with Alec Barbee’s Hawaiian Steel Guitar score and many wacky moments throughout, the film opts for a light-hearted approach. This conflict results in a bittersweet tone at the film’s end, and whether or not this was intended, opting to not take itself too seriously was probably for the best, because its defining quality is its humour.

A moment that stuck with me long after viewing was one of the disastrous shoots, in which Benny picks a fight with a picnicking couple obstructing his shot. The humour is brilliantly executed, felt not only through the dialogue and performances but through the camera movements, the editing, and the sound. With some quick zooming close-ups, and a sudden jolt of music straight from a western chase sequence, Benny sees red. To the bemusement of his cast and crew, the scene descends into farce; Benny wrestling with a man and his picnic basket against the silence of the ridiculousness of it all.

Harry Walton’s confident performance as the protagonist and antagonist, who dons a pair of round shades and leather gloves, moves from a humorously odd caricature to intolerable and unsettling; one of his many roles across the films at the festival, this performance demonstrates his versatility and enjoyment as an actor, which was a pleasure to watch. The film wouldn’t be as enjoyable however without the supporting cast, who escalate tense situations into more comedic ones. Phoebe White’s struggling lead actress humorously slurs her lines, and Harvey Jackson’s Marvin, who seems to breeze though scenes without a clue, prompted many laughs. It was truly an ensemble production, and its clear that there was a lot of enjoyment in its making, which really came through at the screening.

Buzz also opts for a playfully stylish finish, bookended with bold and upbeat credit sequences and divided into named acts. It plays out in black and white, which ties in with its comedic approach to high art film. Throughout, there are plenty of enjoyable little flourishes, from the performances to the editing, which gives the movie that little bit more personality. It is altogether a clever and thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience, and a fitting end to the KTV Film festival.

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