Cinemablographer: OIAF Review: Short Film Competition 4

A great review of ‘The Pride of Strathmoor’ at OIAF

“Deviant behaviour forms the core of the programme’s centrepiece film, The Pride of Strathmoor (Einar Baldvin, USA/Iceland), which is one of the three aforementioned standouts of the programme. Strathmoor is simply a masterful feat of animation as director Einar Baldvin envisions a gothic interpretation of excerpts from the journal of a pastor from Strathmoor, Georgia, who ruminates on the perceived decay of the American South. This visually stunning tragedy feels like a horror film brought to life as the pastor’s racist ranting paints a grotesque portrait of the South. This surreal film becomes more nightmarish as it reaches its climax. Strathmoor builds to a point of dizzying madness when it combines the pastor’s haunting narration with hypnotically frantic flashes of light. (The film includes a disclaimer that it might invite seizures.) Baldvin makes The Pride of Strathmoor an utterly startling experience by making the sepia-tinted canvas (aided by intuitive use of coffee stains) look like a page of history ripped from the archives, pulled out from the darkness and exposed to the light like a vampire in its final hour. Strathmoor is a fantastic film!”