jonathan glazer short film

Jonathan Glazer directed one of the best films of the last ten years, Under the Skin. Now he’s closing out the decade with a disturbing, nightmarish short film: The Fall. For seven-plus-minutes, Glazer’s short film draws you into a story of mob-mentality at its absolute worst – a story that has unfortunate and terrifying connections to the current reality we find ourselves in.

While we wait for Jonathan Glazer’s next feature film – which he’s set to start shooting next year – we’ll have to make due with The Fall, a genuinely unnerving short that is now available to watch in full here. The movie begins in a forested area, where individuals wearing grotesque, ill-fitting masks shake a terrified person (who is also wearing a mask) from a tree, gather around him, and pose for a selfie. Glazer drew this image from a real event – specifically, a photo of Donald Trump’s large adult sons posing with a leopard they had killed.

“The day I saw a picture of the Trump sons grinning with a dead leopard,” is what inspired the scene, Glazer told the Guardian. This opening sets the stage for a visually disturbing and altogether haunting portrait of mob-mentality clearly inspired by the Trump-era. “I think fear is ever-present,” Glazer says. “And that drives people to irrational behavior. A mob encourages an abdication of personal responsibility. The rise of National Socialism in Germany for instance was like a fever that took hold of people. We can see that happening again.”

Other inspirations for the short include a Bertolt Brecht poem – “In the dark times / Will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing / About the dark times” – and paintings by Francisco Goya. “[Goya’s] Disasters of War etchings, urgently titled I Saw It or This Is Worse. Hell on earth, witnessed like a photojournalist such as Robert Capa or Don McCullin. Ferocious, factual, unflinching,” Glazer says.

The Fall originally debuted, unannounced, on BBC Two in October. A24 then had the short screening in front of The Lighthouse over the weekend. Now, it’s available for all to see. Don’t miss it.

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