The first exclusive premiere of C4’s new series of Random Acts
Channel 4’s Random Acts returns to our TV screens tomorrow Monday 21st August. As a venture that “commissions and curates some 200 creative films a year,” it guarantees to offer a healthy serving of the world’s most creative short films.
Premiering exclusively with Dazed prior to Random Acts’ first episode of the season is pastel-hued short The Honeymoon, from Texas-born director and producer Tommy Davis. Described by IMDb as “A campy and cryptic love letter that features a new, quintessentially American take on Morse code”, it’s impossible not to make connections to Wes Anderson’s work. In true Anderson style, the film builds tension using quick angle changes and sudden intimate cropping. Despite sharing a similar aesthetic Davis comments that he didn’t have Anderson in mind when making The Honeymoon, but was inspired by Marcel Trelinski’s opera The Bluebeard’s Castle, whereby Trelinski applies Hitchcockian methods to the lighting and music. “What struck me about the use of these was that it allowed you to collapse time while heightening emotions. Everything is a touch fantastic, so the audience is willing to accept these quick emotional leaps”.
What might a honeymoon creatively directed by Wes Anderson look like? Maybe something a little like this. With its distinct colour pallet, use of sound, stylistic tropes and idiosyncratic story line – where the protagonists communicate only via Morse code using guns – you can’t help but find visual (and audible) parallels between Davis and Anderson. Davis’ work creates a surreal world “with a very finite amount of time” and Anderson’s oeuvre has always done the same but now holds enough weight to be feature length. No doubt Davis will soon enough have the weight he needs.
Sparked off with a vision of a young woman standing in a pilot’s hat, the artistic direction of The Honeymoon was born. With Celine & Julie Go Boating in the back of his mind, Tommy Davis set to work, unsure what his character’s represent but dedicating the film to his wife and suggests “perhaps it’s me and her, or her and two of our friends”.
Complete with a dock scene and calm water stretching across each side of the frame, The Honeymoon’s dreamy locations – Jacques Cousteau National Estuary and The Cove Bar and Grill in New Jersey – certainly mimic the aesthetic of an Anderson film. “It took me four months to find the locations because I think if you find the right spot the production is ten times easier; everything and everyone can sense the vibe of the place – and the film absorbs that.” Determined to stay consistent to his own point of view, Davis is on an on-going adventure to bring the most creative and artistic shorts to our screens.