“Find the truth, and spread the lie,” Hal Duncan writes in the second installment of his “Book of All Hours” series. Truth, reality and interdimensional travel are all tackled in Amanda Rae Rosado’s thesis film “Jack and the Fox,” based loosely on Duncan’s book. This film dives deep into science fiction, pulling the reader’s attention from one dimension to another, questioning motives and characters and confusing the hell out of us before (and thankfully we make it to this point) everything ties together in the end.
As a graduation requirement, and privilege, Brooklyn College film students must complete their thesis film, a year-long journey in which they write, direct and edit a short film in its entirety. Rosado, a recent Brooklyn College graduate, decided to adapt a small segment of Hal Duncan’s sci-fi thriller “Ink” for her thirteen-minute film. Rosado put her own spin on a chapter pulled from “Ink”, taking ideas that Duncan brought to life and inserting them into the reality of “Jack and the Fox.”
We’re thrown right into the action, as Jack Carter (Joshua George) sits in therapy with Dr. Guy Reynard, Ph.D. (Billy Ernst) for his first session. Jack seems nervous, as anyone could be on a first therapy session, but nothing seems out of the ordinary. The titles roll and when we jump back into the action, Jack has changed. His demeanor is way more friendly. He refers to Dr. Reynard as “Fox” and we start to find out that they might have a history together, maybe one that Fox can’t remember, or maybe one that Jack has made up entirely.
We teeter on the idea that one of them is crazy. After all, Jack is in therapy and Fox does seem awfully confused by all of this. As the film carries on, we learn more and more about who these characters actually are, their true motivations and the world that we’re shown.
Because the story is full of vivid flashbacks and dream sequences, lighting plays a huge role in this film. Blues and oranges help differ realities from each other, and shadows are equally important. I applaud camera techniques taken from various other directing styles, such as a camera swoosh which grabs our attention halfway through the film, and am grateful that the entirety of this film isn’t just simple medium close-ups. Rosado mentioned that she was a huge fan of Oscar Wright, and I’m happy to report that it’s quite apparent here. On a different note, this short film desperately needs room-tone underneath the dialogue, as the audio cutting in and out is unfortunately distracting to viewers.
Although sometimes quite confusing, “Jack and the Fox” is a thrilling story about two con men on their bizarre inter-dimensional travel. It seems like we were only shown a very small portion of the interesting tale of Jack and the Fox. I would enjoy seeing a longer version, one that Amanda Rae Rosado hinted at as we spoke on the phone. She is currently working on a second edit of “Jack and the Fox” with the goal of submitting it to festivals.
“Jack and the Fox,” as well as some of her other work can be found on YouTube, and any questions pertaining to her film can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For film submissions or any other inquiries, reach out to Dom at email@example.com