Written and directed by Tomas Gold, as the wind makes its presence known, a woman encounters a moment that disrupts her stoic life. Starring: Julia Bisby, Rachel Templeton, Robbie Templeton and Philip Lee.
One of the fundamental skills of filmmaking is being able to communicate feelings and emotions without having to say anything at all, Tomas Gold achieves that with The Stoic Breeze. Without needing much time at all, you can feel the complicated history that has led its protagonist to this moment (Julia Bisby). It builds a foundation of isolation and loneliness, you can feel the simple, reserved style in which she leads her life. As it moves forward it turns into a rumination on how she’s reached this point and what she could do different, or even if she would make the change if the opportunity presented itself. Creating the feel of a life becoming an endless wandering with no real destination, which is translated both atmospherically and physically.
However, with the runtime coming in at just over thirty minutes, it leaves you wanting a bit more development or added context. That solid foundation is there but it feels as though it needed an extra element to push it further. It does attempt to switch things up slightly in its latter half which gives us a bigger look at its leading character’s hidden persona but it’s still playing into what it’s already built. Especially since it does such a good job of establishing that atmosphere early on in the short.
The direction has a few interesting notes to add into the mix, particularly with using a woodland setting for a large portion of the film. Opening on that location feeds all sorts of tones into The Stoic Breeze, from horror to mystery to an artistic edge. As it develops it creates an air of questioning, self-reflection, a feeling of being lost and packages them in a pensive atmosphere. Julia Bisby matches that tone well with her performance, she captures the feeling of longing and the emotional quandary that her character finds herself in. She also does a great job of communicating more detail to the personality and qualities of her character without needing to say much.
The Stoic Breeze captures an atmosphere filled with isolation, loneliness and conflicted feelings. It taps directly into that feeling of days blending together, finding yourself endlessly wandering whether literally or metaphorically. Gold’s direction walks an interesting line between watching, observing and pondering, shifting through different tones as it moves along. The only downside is for it’s fairly lengthy runtime, there isn’t a bit more development to the story and the characters to see it through. The tone, the feeling and the pacing work but it just needed something extra to push it across the finish line.