Tribeca Film Festival Short: Snare
Madeleine Gottlieb’s Australian film Snare stars the popular actor Steve Rogers (Home and Away, The Code) and James Fraser (December Boys, The Water Diviner). This father-son drama premiered at the celebrated South by South West Film Festival and screened at the Oscar-qualifying Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
Steve, a 50-year-old dad with a hunched back and blistered hands, waits for his son Jobe to arrive after a gig with his punk band The Nosebleeds. They each need something life-changing from the other. Amongst plates of steamed dumplings and sizzling Mongolian beef, Steve and Jobe wrestle with one another's needs and ambitions as parental roles are reversed and expectations inverted.
Runtime: 13 minutes.
Madeleine Gottlieb gives Snare such wonderful verve, and her tight direction coupled with editor (co-writer and actor) James Fraser’s precise cuts give the film a smooth pace and feel. She really displays not only a great sense of direction and style, but a great sense of humor as well.
Snare is wickedly funny and also incredibly moving. Its story is completely engrossing, and it gives complex weight and some nice subversion to the father/son relationship. With a zeroed in focus on its characters, Snare successfully forms a connection between the characters and the audience, which gradually grows more tense and twisted.
There’s a nice sense of irony that permeates throughout the film’s tight script, leading to some really fantastic moments. One of my favorite examples of this is when the steamed argument between father and son reaches a head, ending with the delivery of a steamed dish. In addition to its fantastic script, it also has wonderful sound design and sleek cinematography.
The film has a personal quality to it, and at its heart it’s about people looking for support and expecting it to be there. The lead performances by Steve Rodgers and James Fraser are superb, and help to fully round the film’s experience. They share wonderful chemistry, and their back-and-forth exchanges wrap the viewer further and further into the story.
As Snare cruises toward its ending, it lands with a surprising amount of impact. It causes the viewer to see their father in a new light — maybe they’re not as square as we take them to be. Snare is an incredibly strong and focused endeavor, marking Gottlieb as someone to definitely keep your eye on.
Rating: 4.5 drumsticks outta 5.
About The Filmmaker: Madeleine Gottlieb is a writer, director and producer from Sydney, Australia. Her directorial debut I F*cked a Mermaid and No One Believes Me received its international premiere at Interfilm Berlin / KUKI Berlin and its Australian premiere at the Oscar-qualifying Flickerfest, Sydney. In 2018, she wrote feature film Panyeefor Revlover Films. Beginning her career as a Production and Development Executive at Goalpost Pictures, Madeleine worked on high-profile productions including Matthew Saville’s Felony and Neil Armfield’s Holding The Man. In 2016 she was Associate Producer on Season 2 of SundanceTV’s Cleverman. Now at Revlover Films (the sister company of Revolver) she works closely with producers Martha Coleman and Lauren Edwards whilst developing her own slate of projects independently, including a feature film adaptation of Snare. As a filmmaker she is particularly interested in exploring contemporary masculinity.
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