03rd Oct2015

Grimmfest 2015: ‘Process’ Review (Short Film)

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Bruce Jones, Roseanna Leathley, Paige Feast, Matt Milne | Written and Directed by Scott Feast

Process-still

Written and directed by newcomer Scott Feast, Process is – unlike the other shorts shown at the Grimmfest Northern Showcase – not your usual horror story. In fact, beyond dealing with the horror of living with dementia, this is an art-house style sci-fi fantasy sees an ageing off-world traveler, suffering from dementia, brought home to earth by his young companion as she attempts to inspire in him a moment of recollection.

Inherently different from all the films showing at Grimmfest, Process is a touching look at the effects alzheimers can have on a family – in this case a father and daughter who seemingly are travelling through space together on an interstellar “science expedition”, exploring barren planets and laying new plants in the hope of finding life. It’s a real dystopian look at the future of the human race – yet one that still offers a glimmer of hope for us all.

Interestingly, Process uses very little traditional storytelling methods, instead opting to use visuals and music to tell it’s story and set the mood. The rest of this films tale is glimpsed in brief interactions between the two characters and their reactions to their surroundings and what is happening to them. Central to all this is former Coronation Street star Bruce Jones, who surprises with an understated, well thought out, empathetic performance that really brings the audience closer to the film, making them invested in what is happening to his character and in turn his relationship with his daughter – although the fact that they are related is not completely revealed, it’s left to the audience to put the pieces together as we journey with the duo.

The very idea of recovering and manipulating memories through technology is nothing new in sci-fi, after all it’s core to the likes of Paycheck, Inception, Total Recall et al., but it’s the idea behind the tech, the reason why the memories NEED to be remembered: so that father and daughter can be truly reunited, that makes Process so special. Which in turn makes the final scene of this short – as the pair return to a familiar place back on Earth and some semblance of a memory returns to Jones’ character but not those his daughter wants, or needs, him to recollect – so, so poignant.

Speaking after the screening, Bruce Jones revealed that he’s slated to appear in a number of new films shooting in North Wales (where Process was filmed), and given his stunning performance I’m definitely eager to see more from him going forward. Well worth tracking down, Process is an essential watch for fans of sci-fi and those like like a little more substance to their movies…

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