Saturday, February 18, 2017

Short Film Spotlight: DOES LOVE LAST FOREVER?

Welcome to another installment of SHORT FILM SPOTLIGHT, where we dive into the world of, you guessed it, short films, good or bad, and give you our thoughts. Today we look at a hearing test disguised as a short film: DOES LOVE LAST FOREVER?

Howdy fellow film freaks, Robert here. "A simple love story told over the course of four decades, or a creative film designed to test your hearing ability? You decide." This is the way the short film Does Love Last Forever? was pitched when I found it on Not knowing if that was a legitimate ambiguity or some web monkey's attempt at witty sarcasm, I gave it a go. It turns out that the film is a little of both, though it leans heavily toward the latter at the end.

It starts off innocently enough in 1986. Jake and Xanthe are hanging out in Jake's apartment discussing his taste in music. Love blooms in the usual, incomprehensible way that it does in the movies, and we get glimpses of their lives together as time passes. We pick up with them again, first in 1996, then "Twenty Years Later" -- I guess 2016 hadn't passed sufficiently when this film was produced -- and on into "Today". In each scene, the ambient (background) noise is turned up higher than before, making the couple's conversation harder to hear; by the end, we can barely hear it at all.

And that's the point of the project. I won't spoil the ending, but after the narrative ends we get a short explanation of the method to the madness. Yes, the film can be taken as a commercial for hearing aids; at the end we're encouraged to visit where a hearing quiz based on the film and information about caring for your hearing wait. But in the annals of entertainment as advertising, this is hardly the most egregious example. Does Love Last Forever? is intended more as an educational tool, and while the film was produced by a hearing aid manufacturer, you won't see their products mentioned until you go to their main site. So points are due for their focus on raising awareness over moving product.

Check out the film below, and then check out the site if you want to know more. I took the quiz and found I'm probably due for a hearing test myself, though my 71% score may be due to the fact that I didn't listen to the audio clips through headphones as much as anything. While its methods may be slightly dubious, the intention is a worthy one.

Robert's Score: 8 / 10

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