Welcome to “Your Weekly Short,” a LakeFrontRow.com feature that showcases one short from a Wisconsin filmmaker all while stretching the definition of “weekly.” Brace thy face.
It’s difficult to tell whether survivalism or habit comes first in Drew Britton and Samuel Karow’s “Marshland.” A wordless snapshot of a man’s (Drew Britton) search for the unknown, “Marshland’s” bespectacled, buttoned-up seeker trudges through frozen, white-capped marshes by day just as he pores over old VHS tapes of B-movies by night. As the screams of Teen Alien and Curse of the Swamp Creature signal the burning of the midnight oil, Britton’s young man takes notes and makes sketches. But of what? Stray Post-Its hanging from a handdrawn map are the only clues we’re ever afforded into his daytime searches.
Co-directors Drew Britton and Samuel Karow leave much to the imagination as their visuals evoke mood and feeling. The interiors of a barn hideout feel homey if not outright comfortable, and a coffeemaker and buzzing television set might as well be a “home sweet home” doormat when compared to the snowy vastness of the wilderness. Likewise, Britton’s character dominates much of the frame in the interior sequences but the outside world practically envelops him in wide shots. Surrounded by the familiar, “Marshland” finds a comfort in darkness.