Taking Off the Mask

Review by Lew Antoine

April Showers is a short film conceived, directed and produced by Caytha Jentis. Its use of dialogue and humble direction by Jentis makes this a delicate parable about the world … right now.

Providing us with a Beckett-like park bench in a deserted park populated by police and ambulance sirens, we meet a man and woman out for a stroll now that its spring. What begins as two strangers accidentally sitting on the same bench during their solo walks evolves into a soaring tale remarking on the state of the world due to the devastating Covid-19. The state of the world they explore is not the common one, but the deep psychological beating we have all taken during this lock-down year. Just like one might find in a Beckett piece, the dialogue, one-or-two word retorts to a one-or-two word questions, supply the audience with myriad stories, plots and emotions. By the fascinating end, we, the crowd, are fully invested in these two people and ourselves.

Bill Sage gives us a gruff, macho veneer so weathered by the effects of this historic moment, showing us what the “man” of the next portion of the 21st century might resemble. His performance was engrossing and heartfelt. Lorraine Ferris hides deep sadness and pain under a masterfully demonstrated but subtle blanket of fear.

Ben Wolf’s cinematography and Susan B. Ades’ editing walk hand-in-hand with the light touches of Jentis’ script and direction and acting by Sage and Ferris.

Caytha Jentis has created a cinematic documentation of the heart and soul of the world during this once-a-century occurrence. The use of black & white, the Beckett dialogue structure, the simple but devastating plot, all amid a simple could-be-on-stage set makes this worthy of festivals and educational programs.


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