Firstly, I’d just like to say thank you to Producer, Eric Sonnenburg for sending me the link to the 8 minute, Action/Western short “A Time Of Vultures”, Co-Written by William James and Adolfo J. Kolmerer (who also directs). A Time Of Vultures sees a mysterious drifter (played by Eskindir Tesfay) enter a saloon to settle an old score. The film also stars Erkan Acar, David Masterson, Bernhard Bulling, Ronny Wagner and Stephen M. Gilbert.
A Time Of Vultures was made back in 2012 and is bought to you by a number of the team involved with “Snowflake” *see review* https://adamthemoviegod.com/snowflake-review/. There are a handful of really professionally made and entertaining western shorts floating around on YouTube, and after having enjoyed Snowflake so much, I wanted to check out more of Kolmerer’s body of work. The film opens with a few really nice shots, followed by a focus pull to reveal a Mexican (Acar) amidst an animated poker game. As a whole, the cinematography is really impressive, possibly even better than in Snowflake. Consistently good framing and plenty of intriguing shot choices drive the higher than expected production value. Adolfo goes all out with a couple of motion whip pans and an abundance of shots with slowed frame rates, which are used to great effect. Some of the lighting is gorgeous, particularly the back-lit sequence where the drifter engages with the Mexican from across the bar. The audio is clear and the foley nicely matching. I heard some momentary flute in the score that was reminiscent of any number of the scores in Sergio Leone’s films. The action choreography was solid and the way the drifter used his whip was thoroughly entertaining.
I was a little disappointed that the score didn’t figure quite at the front and centre like it usually does in the Western genre, but I can also acknowledge that the short format has its limits. The only aspect that took me out of the film was the fact that the two main character’s enter into hand to hand combat during the climax. Was that response ever used in the wild west? Usually it’s more of a showdown at sunset type of deal. What occurred in A Time Of Vultures was more akin to that of a martial arts film.
For the most part A Time Of Vultures was exactly what I expected it to be, a polished and entertaining little Western short. The cinematography and shot choices are expertly crafted, the audio and foley sharp and the lighting sublime. Some of the score is quintessentially geared to the genre but there’s not quite enough of it, that and I would’ve preferred to have seen the action carried out a little differently. Those issues aside, this is another impressive short from a German filmmaker on the rise. You can watch the film below and see for yourself, Enjoy!
My rating for “A Time Of Vultures” is 8.5/10