Night #9: The Forbidden Files

(Yeah there’s no poster to put up here)

Directed By: Jean Teddy Filippe

This isn’t something you’ll find on any best of lists or generally any conversations about the found-footage genre. I daresay this isn’t something you would’ve even heard of and that’s fair enough. Best I can tell is that it was made for TV and technically I’m cheating because it’s not even a movie but is instead a series of 12 shorts (I’m also cheating again because technically they were split into two, being produced years apart).

So what the hell is The Forbidden Files?

Well really there’s not a lot to it. They’re a series of vignettes, always set in the past and usually in black and white, documenting some otherwordly story. Before they’ve started they’ve almost finished, but I’d daresay that’s part of the charm.

In one a sailor, lost at sea with just some provisions and a camera to keep himself company, documents his days stranded. He starts to toss his provisions in the ocean, decides against signalling a passing ship and keeps filming something on the horizon. Eventually he leaves a note, then gets into the ocean and swims away. In another a small Mexican town deals with a witch and in another a soldier in WW2 France spots a woman and child emerging from the ocean and decides to follow them in (If there’s on thing these shorts have in common, it’s people embracing the otherwordly).

That’s kind of all there is too them. However as we know, all the best things are in the execution and that’s were they excel. Usually presented in grainly black and white with a monotonous voiceover, they carry the feeling of something locked away in a vault only to be made declassified years later. There’s no dialogue to speak of, no time to develop characters, it’s just the story and the images.

My favourite one probably comes from the second batch. It’s called The Ferguson Case and it takes the form of a local television news broadcast. I won’t give it away but luckily all of these are available on the Vimeo page of the Director (You’ll have to click through).

So that’s it for tonight. There’s not a lot to say other than check them out. They’re short enough and creepy enough to be worth your while. And they deserve to be more well-known.

 

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