Shorts reviews: ‘Bridges’, ‘Afterglow’ and ‘Step 9’

I get a lot of requests to review short films and in the past I’ve rarely been able to get to many of them. However, having spent the last five months as a short film selection panellist for the Melbourne International Film Festival (I finished up a couple of weeks ago), I feel a renewed sense of obligation towards the artists working in this space. So I’m going to start showcasing some of the shorts sent to me here on CurnBlog. If you’d like me to take a look at a short film, let me know by posting a comment on the Curnblog Facebook page.


Elizabeth (Joslyn Jensen), a babysitter who spends much of her time caring for an infant boy, finds herself trapped in the child’s family apartment by an unwanted visitor. Elizabeth manages to leave the apartment and wanders the streets to kill time. Alone with the child, Elizabeth reflects on their connection.

Christopher Bell does a wonderful job of directing this short film with a simple air of contemplation that allows the viewer necessary time and space to ask the questions that reside between the lines. Without a single moment of unnecessary exposition, Bell shows us the powerful bond between the woman and child; the lonely isolation that seems to come with her duty of care; and the way in which this loneliness only further serves to fuel her emotional investment in the young boy.


For those who are interested in film’s more experimental modalities, check out Alex Bowlin’s Afterglow. A beautiful fusion of abstract and every day imagery combines with a stirring score and ponderous narration to form a quite mesmerising experience. An ocular massage that will conclude with you feeling far more at peace than when you began.

Step 9

“Ray and Addison were once married, but have gone their separate ways. Ray asks for one last chance to set the record straight so he can move on with a clear conscience. Addison reluctantly agrees, but gets more than she bargains for in this short emotional drama.”

Scott W. Fitzgerald keeps the twists and turns coming in this tale of emotional betrayal, shattered dreams and redemption. Deceptively simple in its execution, Fitzgerald manages to keep the truth just out of reach until the final moments. You’ll need permission to view this one, so contact Scott W. Fitzgerald if you’re interested.

James Curnow is an obsessive cinephile and the owner and head editor of CURNBLOG. His work as a film journalist has been published in a range of print and digital publications, including The Guardian, Broadsheet and Screening the Past. James is currently working through a PhD in Film Studies, focused primarily on issues of historical representation in Contemporary Hollywood cinema.

11 thoughts on “Shorts reviews: ‘Bridges’, ‘Afterglow’ and ‘Step 9’

  1. Pingback: About | Curnblog | Hey Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite!

  2. I like the idea of shorts, but have never made an effort to view them. Your reviews have piqued my interest!

  3. Not been much of a viewer of ‘shorts’, but will check these out James. Based on your reviews, they should be worth watching. Regards from England, Pete.

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