ALL OVER AGAIN
Firstly, I’d just like to say thank you to Jam Productions and Writer/Director, Joseph McGovern for allowing me access to an online screener of his 16 minute, debut short film “All Over Again”. All Over Again is a Drama/Music short about Gregory (played by Joseph Fuoco), a family man and aging guitarist who tries to rediscover his passion for music in the hopes of performing again one day. The film also stars Constance Reshey, Vincent Primavera, Mahdi Shaji and David Andro.
Right off the bat, I’m a sucker for music themed films. “Whiplash”, “Rudderless” and “August Rush” are just a few of my favorites. Of course it helps that I, myself, have been playing guitar and singing for 15 years and so therefore I can often relate to the content at hand. McGovern’s influence here is mostly a lyrical and poetry based one, with multiple secondary characters here performing spoken word and reading poems in a number of the scenes in the first half of the film. The open mic night setting at the centre of All Over Again brought back memories of my time spent playing in bars, hotels and music shops. The cinematography is solid without them having done anything overly stylish. It’s a still shot approach but the framing is all neat and the lighting is consistent. Joseph’s acting is the most natural of the bunch, and while his guitar playing is a little raw, it works for the character whose slowly venturing back into the light. The title song “All Over Again” is a nice folky/rock tune, catchy with its melody and ultimately reminiscent of something Springsteen would write, I dug it.
The audio sounded a little hollow, making it difficult to decipher a few of the things Gregory was saying in the cafe (though this is just a screener). The editing is quite patchy at times as well, relying a little to heavily on fade ins and fade outs. While most of the secondary actors were serviceable, Shaji’s delivery often felt scripted in comparison to those around him. Unfortunately the 16 minute run time seems drawn out given the simplicity of Gregory’s plight. I know there’s clearly more to him than meets the eye, but unless being explored in a full length feature, less is usually more. Most of the performance orientated stuff showcases others performing their craft and not Gregory, he’s usually just shown in the intimate crowd, or trying to write, and later, at home reminiscing on years gone by and all that has led him to his current juncture in life. As a huge music guy, I’d liked to have seen McGovern tackle the story from a different angle. Perhaps the first half of the short could’ve focused on Gregory as a young and promising songwriter instead, and then fast forwarded to him as an older man having somewhat lost the “it”, with him experiencing that internal struggle to get that part of himself back. Something different might have made for slightly more entertaining viewing.
All Over Again is a positive sophomore entry from Joseph, and more importantly it’s a short film with a message about never giving up on your passions or dreams. I like the subject matter, the camera work is solid, most of the acting works and some of the music produced sounds really good. The audio and editing unfortunately needed a bit more work and Mahdi’s (playing Gregory’s son) dialogue delivery feels wooden. I’d have preferred to have seen this particular character arc covered in a different manner, so as to see Gregory over the course of his whole life. As it stands this is still a good little film that I can recommend to fellow musicians and artists in general. You can check out the trailer for the film at the link below!
My rating for “All Over Again” is 5.5/10