Saturday, March 7, 2009

Short Film Review: A Short Film About John Bolton (2003)

A Short Film About John Bolton

Writen & Directed by Neil Gaiman

John O'Mahony...John Bolton
Marcus Brigstocke...Marcus (Interviewer)
Carolyn Backhouse...Carolyn Dalgleish

John Bolton is a brilliant artist, whose subject matter is typically gorgeous women in seductive poses with an almost disturbing and vampiric quality. He is preparing for his latest exhibition in a very swanky, very prestigious art gallery, attempting to break out of his shell for the documentary crew that is following him around. He is new to the world of celebrity, and everyone wants to know: where does he get his inspiration? Only one man is invited into his studio to find out...

John Bolton is a real fellow, though he is portrayed fictionally here by John O'Mahony. Bolton is a comic book artist and painter who has worked on both Marvel and DC Comics, including the first issue of Books of Magic, written by Neil Gaiman himself. He fully supported Gaiman's fictional film, going so far as to supply the artwork used and appearing in a cameo as a patron at the art gallery.

This short movie is Gaiman's first stab at directing, so perhaps we can forgive the flaws. It's competently shot and scripted, and just as competently directed. However, I found it rather dull and more than a little pretentious. But that could very well be because I'm not familiar with John Bolton's work. If someone were to make a horror-influenced metafictional short film about, say, Jack Kerouac, Steve Gerber or Bob Dylan, I'd probably be all over it.

Regardless, if you're a fan of the REAL John Bolton, or of Neil Gaiman himself (and really, who isn't?) it's worth a watch. Even if you don't like it, you've only wasted 27 minutes--plus bonus features. So what are you waiting for?

27 Minutes

John is better than Michael!

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