WHAT WAS LOST *** USA 2014 Dir: John Patrick-Driscoll. 24 mins
Co-writer / director Patrick-Driscoll also plays the lead in this heartfelt, downbeat drama: he’s a middle-aged publisher who gets fired the same day he catches his wife (Elsa Carette) cheating on him with a comically buff younger model described as looking like Spartacus. In the altercation that follows, he gets brained with a frying pan and, assumed dead by his assailant, attempts to piece together the ruins of his life while resuming his long-term mission to locate a missing manuscript.
Patrick-Driscoll’s sympathetic central character gives this a protagonist to root for, and the filmmaker captures a nice line in blackly comic observational humour conveying the petty things we cling to in moments of great grief and emotional distress: “Your bacon is burning!!” It is weakened by the intrusive use of original songs (by Nancy Micciulla) that revives memories of a period in which the emotional beats of seemingly every other American TV show were soundtracked by the ballads of Sarah McLachlan. But the bleak ending is impressive.
Review by Steven West