I came across a short film the other day called Phoenix Song. It follows a frustrated art student named Laura (Kristin Rogers) who reconnects once more with Dillon (Benjamin David Howard), a soul she has reincarnated with numerous times over history.
What caught my attention was the concept of the film. The film portrays love in the way of reincarnation, yet there is no dialogue. The story is told through movement and expression with the help of original music by Joanne Higginbottom, an up-and-coming artist who currently works with composer Tyler Bates (300, Watchmen), and it works flawlessly through the film.
“Phoenix Song is a true labor of love, and I mean that in a myriad of ways,” said director/writer Kate Martzullo. “This project was born of the desire to tell a story centered around the themes of reincarnation and karma, and do so in an authentic, non-gimmicky way.”
Though many films have touched on reincarnation, Cloud-Atlas being one, Phoenix Song is not so much about the same person with a different look, but a true rendition of a soul. It reminded me of a film called Cafe de Flore, a love story about people separated by time and place but connected in profound and mysterious ways. The film chronicles the parallel fates of a young mother with a disabled son in 1960s Paris and a recently divorced, successful DJ in present day Montreal. What binds the two stories together is love – euphoric, obsessive, tragic, youthful, timeless love.
If you are not familiar with reincarnation, it’s a religious or philosophical concept that the soul or spirit, after biological death, begins a new life in a new body that may be human, animal or spiritual depending on the moral quality of the previous life’s actions. It’s one of those topics that you either believe in or you don’t.
“My mission with Phoenix Song is not to attempt to “convert” people into buying these ideas. My intention is simply to offer one possible perspective, an alternative point of view into those seemingly unanswerable questions. My hope is that everyone who views and experiences Phoenix Song gleans from it some sort of identifiable Truth… which is Love.”
So far, the short-film has been accepted into three film festivals – Indie Fest, the Los Angeles New Wave International Film Festival (premiere) and the Action On Film International Film Festival, coming up in August.
It has also won an award of Merit in the Women Filmmakers category (Indie Fest); Honorable Mention in Short Film category (LA New Wave); Best Costumes (LA New Wave) Also, the pilot for Phoenix Chronicles (written and directed by Marzullo), the television series in which the short was based on, won an Honorable Mention in LA New Wave’s screenwriting competition.
Whether you are a believer in reincarnation or not, Phoenix Song brings the idea of a soul’s seemingly endless journey through the ages to a relatable, every man sort of way, and is definitely a short to watch for.
Written by Felix Kay, for Vancity Buzz. Stay in touch with Felix on Twitter at @TheFelixKay.