I am not much into films and am not a connoisseur of short films, but when Angel Connell, of Westford, invited me to the premiere of his new production, BENEATH THE VENEER OF A MURDER: Believe Your Lying Eyes, I took him up on the opportunity. After all, it was free food, and interesting people.
Fortunately, during the this last Fall Semester at UMass Lowell Continuing Education, I took Professor Madeline F Sherlock's Short Story Course.♠ Professor Sherlock, a graduate of Villanova University and Simmons College, taught us about short stories, novellas, graphic novels AND, "sudden fiction". That was the trick for me. Instead of asking myself what this very short story was about, I allowed my brain to explore all the areas that were not filled in and to do so for myself, and I found it worked for me.
There were quirky little things that I liked, such as the producer being listed thusly, "Angel Connell (as the voice of Bartlesby)". But, Bartlesby, while an important character, never speaks, is not even seen. On the floor at the murder scene is the combination to the company safe, but the first time you see it it looks like an equation. Fortunately, for my curious mind, the movie was run twice for us and the second time I confirmed what I had suspected—the equation was really the combination.
This short film is an affirmation, for me, of my suspicion that we don't always know the truth behind the events laid out for us by some prosecutor and relayed to us by a newspaper or television news program. And it did it in a quick and clever way.
I got my monies worth and more from going to see BENEATH THE VENEER OF A MURDER. I comment it to you for your viewing pleasure, when it makes its way out to the Internet. Look for information at the IMDb, the Internet Movie Database.
A note of caution. This short movie has some violence (it is after all, a murder story) and some strong language. Not recommended for those in their tender years.
Regards — Cliff
♠ This would be a great course to take for fun or credit. If you are over 60 or a vet it is $30 plus the cost of the textbook (about $100) and a dictionary and a grammar book. My choice was The Complete Plain Words, by Sir Ernest Gowers. There is a mid-term and a final, plus a quiz every session, but after three semester of Mechanics in Professor Archie Higdon's department I am used to that. Good, clean fun and even arch conservatives can get a good grade out of the course, if they participate.
10 months ago