Pandemic filmmaking is a real phenomenon that is spawning some quality cinema from hardy creatives that are bending over backwards to bring their ideas to life, and with Lucy Birnie’s Quiet Moments we have another fine example that will make its mark on a strange period in cinema history. Quiet Moments is Birnie’s personal LGBTQ+ take on a couple staying strong through tough times.
“In April I open my bill, In May I sing night and day, In June I change my tune, In July far far I fly.” The beautifully sung lyrics that kick off this short sets the tone for two characters who share something far more than just a farmhouse. We are introduced to Anne, a caring and bubbly housemate to the cold and stern Cora, a farm-owner who is working hard to keep things afloat, and seemingly impacted by the financial strains of a second mouth to feed and cover. The platonic landlord/tenant relationship we’re led to believe exists between these two, slowly unravels into something much more endearing, which can only be described by the phrase “opposites attract”.
The stark contrast between the two makes you initially wonder why they are even together, but the unfeigned chemistry of the two carry the story and justifies the main plot points and character decisions. By the end you will see them both in a completely different light, and the simply amazing last few lines and closing shot will send chills down your spine.
The breakneck pacing of the first half will make you wish for a few extra minutes with these characters, but it’s worth the exposition as the second half unravels with utmost charm. Birnie’s story takes us on a wonderful journey nonetheless, and the time spent with the resolution of Cora and Anne will no doubt spawn a warm fuzzy feeling inside once the credits begin to roll.
Beautifully filmed with some dazzling naturally lit shots, a story that doesn’t give itself away too quickly, and an impressive melancholy score, the director has achieved something great with this short film that will leave you rooting for the characters throughout.