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Short Film: The Squash

As the old saying goes, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” But, for one lucky farmer, it does pop out of certain ground-growing plants in Bobby Young‘s charming short film The Squash. However, that title is a little misleading. There’s tons of squash providing a true harvest of plenty in this simple cautionary tale told without dialogue and with a folksy soundtrack composed by Dave Brown.

Although told in a very straightforward manner, The Squash isn’t as predictable as it might seem at the outset. Young has the fates line up perfectly for his main character with no internal logic set up to explain the magical events that occur.

There’s no reason for the farmer to become so blessed with his bounty. He’s not a deserving figure in the least, but, by the same token, he’s not undeserving, either. Without any speaking to rely on for motivation or explanation, lead actor Verle McClellan does an excellent job just using facial expressions so the audience can connect with him.

Thus, as things start to spiral out of control for the farmer, we begin to wonder what his ultimate fate is going to be. While the film might be a tad too long for such a simple story, at least that length is used to feed into the themes of greed, mindless consumerism, ungratefulness and rejection of nature that underline the proceedings. The film also has a great final payoff.

The Squash recently screened at the 2011 Portland Underground Film Festival, among other fests, and if you want to learn more about the film, please visit its official website.


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