Reviews

“Very good indeed and very original.” - JAN HARLEN (Stanley Kubrick's producer) on RED

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"Mum’s Cards is a fine film, and it would be churlish to suggest the judges chose the wrong winner, but to my mind there were more exciting works on display from the less established filmmakers in the competition. Particularly bracing was Simone Smith’s Slap, an overwhelming, multi-sensory short about the intense terror of the school playground. Throwing out conventional film grammar to hit on a more primal level, Smith’s impressionistic knockout follows an introverted girl who longs to join her primary school’s toughest gang, the Hubba Bubbas, a crew of bubble-gum-chewing mean girls decked in pink denim and lipstick. The abrasive synth score and jagged editing contrast with moments of surreal poetry, including a nightmarish tableau in which the bear pit of school becomes a literal (teddy) bear pit." - BFI Sight & Sound International Film Magazine on SLAP

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“The Jury were struck by the work of this director who is pursuing her own sensory style in design and narration. We want to encourage her in developing her individual take on the world and look forward to her next projects. The Special Mention goes to Simone Smith for SLAP.” - Glasgow Short Film Festival Jury on SLAP

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"Pop culture and playground politics collide in this kaleidoscopic and disturbing drama about a girl trying to fit in. But the film's true success lays in its dazzling, idiosyncratic and kinetic form and style, which unleashes a rarely experienced kind of cinematic energy. It is a film which, genuinely, could be described as original and unforgettable. That Blueprint's audience voted it one of the year's top four is further testimony to the film's impact. It deserves every award, nomination and kind word it receives." - Hans Lucas - Curator, Blueprint: Scottish Independent Shorts on SLAP

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"I love you and think you connect deeply with actors where we can be open and brave. I would work with you again in a heartbeat." - Daniela Nardini (BAFTA awarding winning actress / This Life) on THE RINSING and XX.

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"So often we allow ourselves to experience the ethical dilemma of spectatorship as mere anxiety—an academic curiosity, a problem for the anthropologists—that a film with the animal urgency of Simone Smith’s “Red” can still leave us windless. Clarified by the bold-faced moral stakes of war photography, this latent anxiety achieves pitched form, rendered in a throbbing cinema of incoherence, scrolling through interchangeable avatars of victim and oppressor, culminating in the mechanical violence of the decisive moment.

The piece is anti-analytical, an attempt to circumvent any glamorizing distance of analysis, to dismantle the reassuring borders of the frame. (Isn’t there an indictment contained in the material tension between the fluidity of digital and the boundaried instant of analog picture-making?) Smith’s editing produces a frame so thoroughly embodied that we stop blinking for ourselves.

The shutter collapses. A meaty red floats on the screen. The shutter opens. We gasp for air, struggle to make sense in sense’s absence, among perspectives too frantic to cotton, against hard landscapes pilfered of meaning. The shutter collapses. The stability of red is almost soothing. The shutter opens. The mechanism carves an alibi out of the light, frames our complicity as something else, a stillness. The shutter collapses." - NO BUDGE FILMS on RED

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"Here's a true work of art. From Simone Smith, we have a rather poignant film that is sure to stick with you." - AIN'T IT COOL NEWS on RED

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“Kicking off our new section to showcase short film of the most talented new filmmakers, is the BAFTA award winning Simone Smith with the terrific experimental short film entitled RED. Shot with a canon 60D, Red is open to anyone’s interpretation and offered you the chance to form your thoughts whilst you wonder what could happen next. The haunting mix of sound effects lingers in the distance as we go on a journey too realisation and unfortunate truth of the way society is and the sick world we all live but pretend everything is alright. RED makes it point very well for being so short and captures the attention almost immediately and doesn’t let it go. Stay tuned to Mike & Rusty’s for more from this talented young director.” - Mike and Rusty’s on RED.

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“Came to see your production last night… Was a very powerful and thought provoking piece!" -  Jean (audience member on RED LIVE THEATRE performance at the CCA, Glasgow)

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“Just watched the most amazing piece of film and physical theatre… most creative use of space I’ve ever witnessed and one of the most powerful short films I’ve ever seen… Bravo!" - Claire (audience member on RED LIVE THEATRE performance at the CCA, Glasgow)

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“Here's a jarring/lovely smack in the face (and ears). Here's the latest (experimental) short from Saturday Shorts veteran Simone Smith. "Alone? Unattractive? Unloved? Sign up for THE RINSING today. A program that will bring you face-to-face with the new, improved you.” - Ain’t it Cool News on THE RINSING

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THE RINSING is another short film by talented young British filmmaker Simone Smith and starring This Life’s Daniela Nardini. Her previous film RED featured on Mike and Rusty’s a few months ago where I praised her ambition and obvious ability setting the mood. And although this short is 3 mins long, it is packed with atmosphere and some honest commentary on life that may not have been shown this was before. I’m a big fan of this up and coming director and want to see more but it is also apparent so do others! THE RINSING won Best Film on Shorts on Tap ‘Woman at Crossroads’, as well as featured on Channel 4’s Random Acts in December. We will be seeing more from her that’s for sure.

THE RINSING gives an inside look into society and the blurred reality within. Inventive use of voice over mixing as well as cutting but it is the multi meaning that is fascinating. Everyone who watches the film will see it differently based on their own journey in life but that’s the beauty of art. The original intention might be one thing, but the story can be taken in unlimited ways. I saw the depravity and narrow minded of the male species and the real women’s struggle to be noticed as well as the urge to control it. Life is filled with unrealistic goals for women but for the conditioning of men as well as women is in no way our fault. Women at least are conscious of this and have to live life the best way then can whilst having to pretend that men are more dominant when that just isn’t true. 

The overall feel is very polished and rugged at the same time. The story is in the cutting which is also done by Simone as well as writing and directing duties. There’s so many ways to make a film and the slightest change to a shot could change the whole story but I got it loud and clear what was meant to be said.

Another great film by Simone and stay tuned to Mike & Rusty’s for more!” - Mike & Rusty on THE RINSING

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