A Stock & A Jack review in The Beat

Sean Stanley

Meg Pirie did a review on A Stock & A Jack after coming out to the screening on Saturday night. Here is a link to the Beat magazine… A Stock & A Jack review

Some highlights: “my perception of snakeskin boots is now divided into two definite stages: Pre-A Stock & A Jack and Post-A Stock & A Jack.” “Jack is a hard drinking, foul-mouthed badass” “Cain, Parr, and Lahti do a commendable job embracing their characters and are able to convey humorous moments via well-timed deliveries.”

Here’s Meg Pirie’s full review:

A Stock & A Jack Premiere
Feat: David Lahti (Dumpie the Bear, Sheepshit), Tyler Parr (Fully Insured, Ignoreland), and Jake Cain (Head or Gut)

Written and Directed by Sean Stanley
Produced by Mark Potter
Graphic Design by Warren Stanley
Original Score by Eric Conway
Additional Music by Martin Rae
Executive Producers Gavin Ap’ Morrygan, Jeff McClinchey, J Louis Srygley
rakehellrow productions
Run Time: 25 mins

This past Saturday, APK Live hosted its first indie film premiere with a screening of A Stock & A Jack (2011 rakehellrow productions), written and directed by local filmmaker Sean Stanley.

Shot in London and in and around Melbourne over summer 2010, A Stock & A Jack is a testament to Stanley’s body of work…a body that defies classification into any one genre. What I can say with certainty is that my perception of snakeskin boots is now divided into two definite stages: Pre-A Stock & A Jack and Post-A Stock & A Jack.

Stanley describes the broad theme of this short as “idling twenty-somethings with misplaced kinetic energy.” This promise held true throughout.

A Stock & A Jack begins on a night like any other. Benny (Tyler Parr), a bored attendant at the easily recognizable Westside Gas Station Convenience Store, finds himself biding his time during a quiet shift. His routine idling is abruptly interrupted with…a robbery. Fast forward to find Benny and friend Georgie Boy (Dave Lahti) engaging in mid-day debauchery with a group of friends. A head is shaved, there is braggadocio chugging, and yes, even a punch is thrown.

After a narrow escape from the house party, the boys end up at a quiet bar (it’s local watering hole Marino’s). Enter Jack (Jake Cain), Georgie Boy’s rebellious cousin. Back from a frenetic sojourn in LA, Jack is a hard drinking, foul-mouthed badass and the catalyst for ensuing events.

Stanley’s use of titles throughout the film—such as the cheeky ‘Drinking in the middle of the day’—act as useful sign posts that help delineate the stages of this story. By the end of the short, as tension builds and characters’ pasts start to reveal themselves, linear chronology is set aside in favour of well-timed flashbacks.

Cain, Parr, and Lahti do a commendable job embracing their characters and are able to convey humorous moments via well-timed deliveries. When Georgie Boy tells Jack that he has been keeping with busy with photography—“I even got some photos in the old Free Press,”—you can’t help but snicker.

References such as this and the unabashed use of the city’s quirky landmarks—like the Westside, for instance—are part of this filmmaker’s aesthetic. Rakehell’s 2010 short Dumpie the Bear was shot on King Street and The Accountant, the 2011 Fringe 62-Hour Film Contest Audience Choice Award, begins at the train station on York St. “I don’t want to exhaust a location and re-shoot there over and over just because I can but so far I keep finding nice discoveries,” Stanley says.

As Part I in a possible two part series, the ending of A Stock & A Jack left me wanting more. Nevertheless, I hope this local artist continues to make filmic discoveries in and around this city.

(3 out of 4)

Photo by Mark Neilson


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