Written, directed by and starring Sol Roth, following a man, a camera, and a ticketing clock. Sol Roth is put through the ultimate acting audition, performing back-to-back parts spanning genres, characters, and stories across the full gamete of human emotion.
Attempting to create an entire feature by yourself is one hell of a challenge but the exact sort of creativity that filmmakers have embraced in such a restrictive time. It’s an interesting idea to take the experience of auditioning, not generally an actor’s favourite part of the job, and task yourself with pushing it to the limit. It creates something that’s part way between story and a way to hone and display your skills as an actor. Almost akin to watching an ‘in conversation with’ piece, there’s something surprisingly casual to it, like an open dialogue.
However, the choice of editing to split into chapters and then move back and forth between them does make it feel slightly repetitive. It would have potentially been better and kept a more forward moving pace to keep each piece intact, or even as series of short films. The black and white style fits well with the atmosphere that it’s going for, it’s very classic of indie filmmaking. Although, you can’t help but wonder if colour and even different costumes might have helped add a larger energy by having more variety.
Roth has a natural presence in front of the camera, the writing is rocky in places but he brings it with a lot of confidence and commitment. He’s an easy person to watch and that’s one of the factors that helps the film feel like a conversation almost. It doesn’t feel like he’s just reeling off a list of different performances, there’s a certain flow to it that he brings and it’s a shame the editing slightly interrupts that.
Sol Roth’s the Audition is a great idea and creative way to keep yourself working and honing your skills, it’s a hugely admirable approach to be so clearly pro-active about filmmaking during the pandemic. Ultimately though it doesn’t feel like there’s enough to justify a full feature, it needed more variety in style and consistency in story to hold your attention effectively. There’s some interesting raw ideas and Roth shows a lot of talent as an actor but in the bigger picture, everything doesn’t quite come together.