Driftwood: Performances drive Silent Film


Driftwood is going to be hit-or-miss for audiences as the performances drive the silent film.

Driftwood is a film that plays to the short side with a running time of just under 80 minutes.  For those audiences who love their films with dialogue, this isn’t the film for you.  There aren’t any words spoken in this film as it is completely driven by the silent action taking place on screen.  Driftwood made it’s world premiere at the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Award for Narrative Feature.

While music usually drives a silent film, there is no musical score and the only sounds heard are the background noise.  Paul Taylor write and directed the award-winning feature and the performances from Jocylyn Jensen, Paul C. Kelly, and Michael Fentin drive the silent movie.  Posing a triple-threat as writer, director, and cinematographer, Taylor is able to get some strong performances from the trio of actors and captures their nuances through even the smallest of body gestures.

A young woman (Joclyn Jensen) finds herself washed ashore where and older man (Paul C. Kelly) takes her to his cabin.  Whatever ideas one may have about the patriarchy and gender roles in society is hard to determine in viewing the film.  This isn’t so much because of what happens on screen but due to the lack of dialogue.  This isn’t to take away anything from Taylor’s intentions as silent movies don’t work for everyone who watches them.

The indie feature is certainly one of the most unique films released in recent years given that Taylor’s film is as far from being dialogue-driven as possible.  With no dialogue, the film will play better for some viewers rather than for those of you who enjoy dialogue-driven films.

Driftwood is currently available on Hulu and iTunes.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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