We have been so lucky and grateful for all of the wonderfully positive reviews that The Drought has gotten. Check out a few below!
Director Kevin Slack’s third short film, The Drought, tells the story of an elderly umbrella salesman toughing it out during Brooklyn’s driest months. Shot on a RED camera, this twelve minute short looks fantastic. Crisp colors and purposeful lighting are picked up well and, overall, the film has an impressive aesthetic. As for the story, The Drought delivers a tight, cohesive plot which relies on visual dialogue rather than existential. Most of the film sits on the shoulders of Edmund Lyndeck, a character actor who made the film in his mid-80s.
Lyndeck’s performance as Jonas is top-notch. He’s captivating when he speaks and even more so when he doesn’t. As Jonas washes his hands or pulls himself out of bed, we see the minutia which has filled Jonas’ day-to-day life. It’s one of the most effective elements of the film. The viewer is given an insight into his character that would have been left on the cutting room floor in a lesser film.
Jonas is an optimist. He may have a harder time moving around (and an even harder time moving umbrellas) but nothing seems to deter him. Sure, he misses his wife, Janet (Reilly), but he sees her through internal apparitions and seems to know that he’ll see her again when it’s his time. But he’s in no hurry.
The Drought refuses to make old age appear depressing. The film ends on a sweet note that really sums up the project’s tone. Life has plenty of positive aspects and attributes as long as you’re open to them.
Film School Reject:
Why Watch? These days, getting noticed can often be a matter of having outrageous effects, a slick animation or a shocking idea that turns heads. Because that’s become the norm, it’s even more shocking when simple emotion hooks you without letting go.
Jonas (Edmund Lyndeck, who’s probably most famous as the crazy drunk in Big Daddy) is an umbrella salesman trying to make it through a rain-less summer and a loneliness filled with memories. For anyone who’s ever had a sweet old grandfather who stuck to his antique guns even when modern times made him seem out-moded, Kevin Slack‘s short film is a celebration of faith and tenderness that also happens to be gorgeously shot. It’s a short movie that quietly rises above a noisy fray.
Blue Print Review:
It seems fitting that after Britain’s dry winter and approaching mini-heatwave we bring you ‘The Drought’ as our latest Short Film Showcase.
Written and directed by Kevin Slack, it’s a sweet tale of an elderly Brooklyn native that struggles with his daily routine as an umbrella street salesman during a summer heatwave.
Beautifully shot, it’s a moving piece that tugs at the heartstrings.
We Are Movie Geeks:
Not since David Lynch’s THE STRAIGHT STORY have I enjoyed a film about the charm of an elderly man’s unwavering determination and loyalty. THE DROUGHT, written and directed by Kevin Slack, is a 12-minute short film starring Edmund Lyndeck as Jonas, a senior resident of Brooklyn who struggles with his efforts to sell umbrellas from a small street cart during a summer drought. During his down time, Jonas recollects his life through visions of his late wife Janet (Kathleen Hope Reilly)as a young woman, the only thing that makes him smile during these dry, hot days of summer.
THE DROUGHT is an extremely romantic film, not in the contemporary sense, but in the nostalgic heart-warming sense. Jonas is a good guy, sad and lonely, but he’s pure and true. Lyndeck gives a quaint performance of a likeable old man, stubborn in his ways. Other than the memory of his wife, only one other thing in this world puts a smile on Jonas’ face… umbrellas, especially his first, which holds a special place in his heart and on his wall.
Cinematographer John Paul Clark works closely with director Kevin Slack to create an absolutely beautiful film, shot with a warmth that conveys the dry, summer heat, but still feel comfortable and inviting. The rest of the world around Jonas is happy and enjoying the weather, but Jonas dreams of the rain’s return… and therefor, the return of demand for his umbrellas. Rob Gokee supplies the original music for the film, adding to the overall romanticism of the story.
THE DROUGHT has two primary characters. The first is obviously Jonas, while the second is Marco (Ivan Goris), a supporting character and fellow street vendor. Marco and Jonas are friends despite being each others indirect competition. Marco makes efforts to help out the struggling Jonas, but he remains committed to his umbrella passion, despite his unspoken uncertainty. This friendship adds a level of generational perception, an element of the changing times to compliment the metaphorical use of the seemingly unchanging weather.
As is usually the case with short films, THE DROUGHT won’t be found in any theaters, except maybe for the occasional film festival. With that said, short films are often well worth the time it takes to seek them out and deserve more attention than they receive. Kevin Slack’s THE DROUGHT is gorgeous. It tells a simple but smart and pleasing story without being condescending or too cute.