DIRECTED by: Sam Kuhn // USA // 16 minutes
Writer/director Sam Kuhn seems to have an affinity for the forest; seeing it as a miraculous space, beckoning those to enter and explore, enticing any and all with the allure of some fantastical quest or an objective that will reveal one or two illuminating truths or, at the very least, the promise of respite from the day-to-day trivialities life has to offer.
This is where Kuhn tends to turn his imagination and he does so again with his latest short film, Möbius. It is as though he is clinging onto a memory of youth where nature was an endless wellspring of adventure, to delight and awe. His shorts being an evolution of that childhood ideal blended into a diluted form of magical realism except this time around things take a darker turn.
It involves a young man gone missing, whose lover knows exactly where her beloved lies. She also knows exactly what needs to be done in order to set him free. In the meantime, the history of their relationship is traversed in flashback fragments with poetic commentary attached to describe the extent of their special, one-of-a-kind bond.
A melancholic joy presents itself periodically, even in the midst of the mundane there resides a combating sense of grief alongside excitement. Kuhn is adept at rendering emotions and feelings as mythic and mystic; the story itself a fairy-tale concoction borne out of teenage love and loss. Yet, it is somehow oddly uplifting as sadness is tinged with anticipation; wonder in the sorrow.
It is a marriage of the dark arts with the drama of high school, taking the melodramatic declarations, promises, and appeals of lovesick youths and extending it into a world of sacraments and rituals along with an air of mystery and intrigue. It is a contained world, one where it appears as though anything could happen, one familiar though foreign in subtle ways.
Reminiscings go even deeper into the blue of melancholy as each episode of recollection is tinged with opposing emotions as the bluing of these cherished memories lend them a magical gleam while recent events stain these remembrances in a deep phthalo blue of sorrow, lost, and longing. Heartache and happiness co-existing in an otherworldly nocturnal realm; the type that can only exist in the manufacture of one’s memory.