Lew Antoine reviews THE FIRE THAT WON’T STOP
In The Fire That Won’t Stop, we meet a depressed man. That’s it – for the first couple of minutes.
Then layers are added that turn this odd short film with no dialogue into a moving testament to our own ingratitude for those that have defended our freedom.
The layers added are all cleverly subtle. We see the facial disfigurement of the man; then we are reminded by the dog-tags that were draped near his lonely bed; then we see the glares of those who judge books by their cover; then we read the veteran’s mail.
It might seem like spoilers are present in this review but it’s not about those reveals, but about the pathos offered to us by a commanding Phil Ippolito as the veteran damaged (inside and out) by a not-mentioned war. It’s about the almost mathematic plot structure that allowed us to experience a vast array of emotions ending with the need to look inside ourselves by scriptwriter Anthony J. Piccione; and it’s about the equally sensitive direction and cinematography by Anthony Raus and George Kyriakopoulos who pieced together the mind of this poor man in a form that can educate and touch us.
Nods go to Alexis Margolin, Brianna Baptiste, Grace J. Claudio, and Michael Mazzone as the obligatory pedestrians representative of the judgement crowds one can easily encounter on Any Streetcorner, USA. And to Angela Chase for realistic scars and other EFX. It would have been easy for her to overdo it – especially in an indie situation – but she read the mind of the screenwriter and gave us just enough pain.
Piccione is credited as producer of the film as well. He is known for doing pieces that touch upon mental illness issues. Considering the somewhat cliff-hanging moment of this piece, Piccione shows us how we can contribute to the depression of America.