Thank you to Maia R. for this great review of our short film, "Lilies"! This writeup can be found on Lesflicks.
"A poetic journey through the last year of our lives. How can you possibly try to create something that encapsulates these common feelings while they’re still so raw? Whitworth and Burns seem to have an answer- with honesty and understanding.
Lilies is a highly evocative piece of short cinema that captures the last year-and-a-bit of our lives with an accuracy that is both startling and entirely human. Joni Renee Whitworth’s writing and performance pairs brilliantly with Hannah Piper Burns’ visuals to create an abstract montage of experience that walks the viewer through the struggles of living in a COVID-ridden world. Through this delicate and honest dialogue, we’re exposed to a view on our reality that is ironic, melancholy, and beautiful in equal measure.
If you’re looking for fantastic pieces of lockdown art, look no further than Lilies. This last period of our lives- whilst something that we have all so prominently shared as an experience- is difficult to express through the lens of the art we create. How can you possibly try to create something that encapsulates these common feelings while they’re still so raw? Whitworth and Burns seem to have an answer- with honesty and understanding. Lilies shows us a slideshow of intimate footage symbolic of the time we’re living in- everything from Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing through to cooking and comfort sex. Overlaid on these images are the musings of the speaker, narrating the inside of a mind in patterns that are surely familiar to all of us. After all, thoughts of home, belonging, and mortality are as emblematic of 2020-2021 as anything.
The relationship between the pandemic and queer love is something that is called into question in a way I’d never even considered- the precarious balance between domestic happiness and the external devastation reigning in society at large is a dichotomic spectrum, with each extreme demanding the attention of the headspace. How can we reconcile personal happiness with a world so full of suffering? Lilies brushes against topics that are big and unruly to even address in part- homophobia, the nature of survival, capitalism- yet doesn’t try to offer long-lasting solutions. The short acknowledges these concerns and shares them with the viewer, instead offering solace in the understanding that you are not alone- none of us ever are. Especially in a time when so many of us may feel that we might be.
There is something altogether fragile and wonderful about Lilies and the viewing experience it provides. This is a short I will undoubtedly be thinking about for a long while yet to come.
If you’re a fan of other spoken word projects like Keep On or pandemic media like How ‘Bout A Cuppa Tea (both available to watch now on our VOD platform), Lilies should be next on your watch list."