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Fading Petals

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2022

‘…while Fading Petals’ lo-fi feel may be too bare-bones for thrill-seekers, it’s an accomplished little chamber piece that’s worth commending to those looking for something more serious…’

Let’s talk indie cinema; it’s never been easier to make a film, and never been easier to get it onto streaming platforms; but how to attract an audience? Writer/director Bradley Charlton’s feature managed to get a cinema premiere in Oxford, and now pops up on Apple TV, but this isn’t some corporate streaming product, but a proper low-budget indie, shot on a shoestring, and feeling very much like a filmed play of the kind you might hear on Radio 4, with the plusses (and minuses) that brings.

Charlotte Reidie plays a young woman who visits an older woman (Melanie Revill) in her house; for now, motivations are unclear. The older woman appears hostile, and resists the idea of assistance; she’s got something to hide, but what? The two women eventually strike up some kind of bond, but an angry confrontation tears their connection apart, and when one of them abruptly vanishes, we’re left to figure out what actually connected them…

Fading Petals is largely a two hander; it’s Reidie and Revill in one room, and that inevitably feels theatrical at times. But there are flashbacks, and brief moments with other characters, most of whom help us understand a little more about where Reidie’s tightly-wound character is coming from. Charlton has the confidence to withhold key information, and that pays off when the secrets are revealed; an opening shot of electronics submerged in water evokes thoughts of Tarkovsky’s ghosts of the future, and that’s no mean feat working with a five person crew during a pandemic…

Fading Petals is a film for those who can take their drama straight. That’s not to say there’s no finesse here, with Reidie and Revill proving themselves more than able to make something three-dimensional of initially cryptic characters. But while Fading Petals’ lo-fi feel may be too bare-bones for thrill-seekers, it’s an accomplished little chamber piece that’s worth commending to those looking for something more serious that the usual blockbuster fare.

Fading Petals is now available to buy and rent on Apple TV.

https://tv.apple.com/gb/movie/fading-petals/umc.cmc.5xec4sw0t32iv32t7avyg920e

For more info see http://www.crazygooseproductions.co.uk

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  1. You are one of the few reviewers where quantity still means quality. I wouldn’t have heard of this film except for you and unlikely to seek it out except for you.

  2. I feel like I should be a staunch appreciator of indie cinema, but I find lo-fi film shamefully grating and only bearable up to a certain point of thrifty. Shameful to say so, I know. But this one in particular sounds like it’s pushing the boundary. Of course, actual content will always win me over, but working up the guts to watch it is another.

    • I hear you. But I see a lot of high gloss stuff, and I think it’s good for the soul to vary your diet. There are lo-go dramas that are hard to watch, but this one is pretty compelling. If the script, acting and direction are up to snuff, you can overcome a low budget. As noted elsewhere, I’m more selective than it might appear.

      • Of course, with the insane number of films you manage to keep down, variety is certainly a must. But for me, I can only spare for the very crème de la crème. Something I’d very much like to change.

        Where is this noted elsewhere? In one of your THREE reviews today?!

  3. it’s never been easier to make a film, and never been easier to get it onto streaming platforms; but how to attract an audience?

    Replace all the film related words with book related words and you have the indie book scene square on.

    And so of course, the burden ends up falling on the shoulders of the every day reviewer to spotlight the one good speck of gold in the mountain of dross. It’s exhausting. At least for me. I don’t know about you but I assume it is. If it isn’t, you should share your Miracle Secret…

    • I get a dozen approaches a day, and usually only choose one new project every day or so, so being slective usually means I dodn’t have to switch stuff off. I generally only choose to watch something new if I have strong reason to think it’s worth my while..

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