A micro-short brought to you by writer, director Michael Wong, who also directed of short The Story of 90 Coins. Behind the acclaimed work of a renowned tattoo studio lurks an unimaginable evil. Starring: Yanhu Wang, Li Lu, Myra Mala, Chase Lichtenberg, Simon Shiyamba, Mayela Magrou and Dan Litza.
Given away in the name, you only get a very brief amount of time to make an impression with a micro short so you really have to make it count and The Tattooist does that. Immediately you have jaunty music, a wonderfully pink colour palette and the buzzing of a needle, that anyone who’s ever gotten a tattoo will be very familiar with. All of that is within the first 5 seconds, the scene has been set, you get an idea of the style with the one shot type following down the hallway to the tattoo shop, then by 10 seconds you have a quick intro to two of the characters, which you could consider the leads. Again, it’s a difficult task to make an impression that quickly but this film hits all the right notes to introduce itself to the audience and get them into the story with enough time still left to explore it within that 70-seconds.
One of the harder things to judge with a film such as this where it’s a lot of cuts in that short time, is the acting. You’re only getting fleeting glimpses of each actor so even though there’s not a lot to judge, it’s easy to notice if they stand out negatively but there’s none of that to be found here, plenty of perfectly terrified and evil acting.
It almost gives off the impression of an immersive theatre event, this is something people would definitely go to a basement or warehouse theatre to see. It gives a good knock to the curiosity bone, why does he kill people and how does he get away with it? Lots of questions along those lines and while you’ll never know the answers, it’s not frustrating, instead it’s purely letting your imagination take over.
The Tattooist gives you in 70-seconds what some crime drama series take 10, 60-minute episodes to do and is probably more satisfying, since they like to drag out every little detail. It’s very interesting to see a story like this, within such a short time but on a fairly visually elaborate scale, it’s taken the most important parts of the story, then edited and shot them in a really great way to instil all of the necessary plot into that quick view. It’s impressive, enjoyable and a very well made short film.