STRAY **** Australia 2018 Dir: Dean W Law. 14 mins
A stark, sombre short with a ballsy, literally full-frontal central performance from Melinda Joan Reed. After three years away, wounded WWII soldier David Breen returns home to find his house ravaged, his wife (Reed) naked and in some state of shock and a strange stray cat in the vicinity. Crossbow-wielding Reed, with a very bizarre new form of communication, is startling to watch in this distinctive piece of work from envelope-pushing filmmaker Dean Law and his screenwriter wife Katherine Chediak Putnam. Their self-described mission to “distill the struggle between the masculine and the feminine into tightly plotted pulp entertainment” looks like it will yield a sequence of provocative, compelling productions if STRAY is anything to go by. Beyond the contentious visuals and arresting scenario, it presents a sympathetic protagonist thanks to Breen’s portrayal of the crippled soldier who finds a radically altered domestic space.
Review by Steven West