Some critics lament the use of voiceovers in film. They think films are about showing, not telling. I, however, enjoy them and when done correctly I believe they can enhance a film.
This is the case for the short film “El Abuelo.” The entire film is a voice over of the main character, Joe Jimenez, reading his poem “El Abuelo” while mainly ironing. The poem expresses the beauty in ironing and the characters “first vato” (love of another man). Besides the voiceover the only other sounds are the wind and the sizzling of the iron. All of this together creates a very poignant piece.
The poem itself is fun to listen to. I’m not a very good judge of poetry, but anything that can talk about starch and still be called art, works in my book. Unfortunately, at times it is hard to understand what the character is saying, because he talks too fast and occasionally uses Spanish slang.
Overall, “El Abuelo” is a great short film. It’s amazing that in only three and a half minutes the director could really portray something beautiful.
“El Abuelo” will screen at SXSW this year and can be viewed below.
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