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by Rose Finlay

It takes a bit of doing to make a 20 minute long short feel like an eternity, but UMBRA managed to accomplish this feat within seconds of its opening. An experimental film focusing on light and shadows with ambient sound humming throughout in the background it could almost be meditative in its monotony. I suppose it can be nice to see filmmakers trying out new techniques and pushing audiences to experience something a little different. Yet that doesn’t inherently mean the experience is enjoyable or particularly meaningful. The description for UMBRA goes on about the random associations viewers can make while watching, as if it were the film version of a Rorschach Test. That may be giving it a bit more credit than it deserves, for while it is possible to make such associations, they don’t come from stimulation but more from absolute boredom.  If some find such minimalism and monotony beautiful, good on them, but for the majority of audiences, UMBRA might be hard to appreciate or care about… but maybe at the end you will be better for it? Or at least you can brag to your friends that you are.