Wednesday, March 02, 2016
Directed and edited by Ramin Bahrani and written by Bahrani and Jenni Jenkins, Plastic Bag is an 18-minute short film that revolves around the journey of a plastic bag. The film is an experimental short of sorts that play into the world seen from the view of a plastic bag who is voiced by renowned filmmaker Werner Herzog. The result is a fascinating and enchanting short from Ramin Bahrani.
The film is a simple story about the life of a plastic bag who is bought and then used until is thrown into the trash where it goes into a journey into the unknown. It’s a film with a very simple story where a plastic bag under the voice of Werner Herzog endures its plight and situations as if it has feelings. Even as it has this bag go into a journey where it encounters many things and different environments. The film’s direction by Ramin Bahrani is quite simple as it is largely shot from the perspective of this plastic bag in its close-ups and medium shots where a lot of it is shot on digital cameras.
With wide shots to capture the many different locations and Bahrani doing a lot of his own editing in creating unique jump-cuts and cut-to-black for moments that play into the bag’s view of the world. It adds to a world that is very unique that includes a major reference to the Pacific Trash Vortex where flown garbage would often be seen at. Overall, Bahrani creates an exhilarating and evocative film about the view of a plastic bag with the voice of Werner Herzog.
Cinematographer Michael Simmonds does brilliant work with the film‘s digital photography that captures a realist yet gritty approach to some of the close-ups of the bag as well as the beauty in some of the different locations in the film. Production designer Chad Keith and art director Adam Willis do excellent work with the look of the house that the bag lived early in the film as well as the disparate states it took in its journey. Sound designer Abigail Savage and sound supervisor Tom Efinger do amazing work with the sound to play into the different locations and atmosphere that adds to the bag‘s journey. The film’s music by Kjartan Sveinsson is fantastic for its mixture of ambient-based music and art-rock textures that play into the many moods that the bad would endure.
Plastic Bag is a phenomenal short film from Ramin Bahrani. It’s a short that manages to do so much with very little as it explores elements of environmentalism without the need to be heavy-handed in its message by just being simple and having intrigue in its story. In the end, Plastic Bag is a sensational film from Ramin Bahrani.
Ramin Bahrani Films: Man Push Cart - Chop Shop - Goodbye Solo - At Any Price - (99 Homes) - The Auteurs #55: Ramin Bahrani
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