In this writer’s view, one of the unexpected benefits of streaming a short film, rather than watching it in the cinema, is the ability to watch the film more than once in a row. With a short run time, and the rewind and pause buttons at hand, every frame of the film can be analyzed for hidden meaning and significance.
Bam, a wordless animation from Canadian director Howie Shia, is the sort of film any viewer should set aside time to watch more than once.
Within a brisk six minutes, the short follows a man’s life––blessed with a bookish exterior, but burning with internal anger that comes out unexpectedly. The film follows a series of these moments of lashing out, showing how they serve to shape his eventual career as a boxer, and role as a husband.
With visuals that mimic a comic book, and a score that mixes drum fills with hip hop beats, Bam communicates much more than just a narrative, but a distinctive tone that brings to attention the raw energy behind the protagonist’s anger. The short claims to be a modern adaptation of the myth of Hercules, but it’s likely even viewers unfamiliar with the ancient myth will likely find a telling parable about the dangerous allure of masculine aggression. It aids our hero to make his name in the world––but once he’s at the top, anger will weave no net to catch him when he falls.
About the Author:
Zach Barr (they/them) is a freelance director and writer based in the Chicagoland area. Their work has previously been featured by Newcity Stage, Scapi Magazine, and on their own blog The Hanslick Girls. Zach serves as the Literary Associate at Sideshow Theatre Company, and is a recurring participant in Chicago Dramatists’ Playwrights Aloud series. Find Zach Barr on social (@AdmiralZachBarr), or on their website.