Sunday Shorts: The Noose

Leon Cain in The Noose.

Article written by Phillip Middleton

Although I haven’t personally lost anyone close to me to suicide, people I know have collectively lost a mind-boggling number of friends and family. Pondering the apparent insanity of this led to the creation of The Noose, which is an attempt to make sense of that critical moment when someone makes the fatal decision to take their own life and what their internal argument might look like.

In trying to talk himself out of what has been described to me as “a permanent solution to a temporary problem” the main character goes through the five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance – as he ultimately succumbs to the reality of his situation only to find himself trapped in an endless nightmare of pain and confusion.

While The Noose was a relatively simple production – one location and one actor – these limitations were used to help portray the main character’s world closing in on him by slowly tightening the frame and position of the character/s. The palette played a big part in the film, with the five stages being assigned its own colour. And although the entire film was originally designed to be drowned in the overbearing sound design, it was decided that we lost too much of Leon’s emotional performance, and so it was scaled back to what has ended up in the film.

The Noose is ultimately designed to open a discussion about a taboo subject, and hopefully help us see it in a different light.

Got a short film you’d like to screen as part of Cinema Australia’s Sunday Shorts program? Submit it here.

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