Review: Walk With Me
By Jonathan Morris, Antiscribe.com
If there’s one thing that I’ve always known about my best friend and podcasting partner (on The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast) Andrew Golledge, it’s that he’s a New Yorker. Andrew loves the city and (almost) everything about it: it’s how he defines himself, and he’s consciously aware of how it has defined him. It’s important to note, however, that he was not born to the city, but came to it as the son of immigrant parents – British and Panamanian – and thus he brings to it the perspective of the outsider. It’s a perspective as viable as that of the native, and for a city forged from the dreams of travelers worldwide, one integral to understanding its history and culture. But with that perspective comes the understanding that this amazing city isn’t necessarily for everyone, and that keeping a forge of dreams means that the hopes of some are going to be burned away…
For Walk With Me, his most ambitious short subject to date, Andrew confronts this understanding of the city’s innate pessimism with a haunting mood piece, wherein a young woman, both isolated and seeking isolation in the city of nine million stories, finds herself haunted by a supernatural being that at once fills her with dread yet provides much-needed understanding. In Andrew’s view, the entity is the city itself, both ominous and enticing, that shadows his character’s steps (or at least, that’s a fellow Irreverent Cineaste’s interpretation), and that ultimately helps her confront the reality that New York itself doesn’t guarantee anything to anyone. If I’m making it feel like a harsh message, it’s to Andrew’s credit that he doesn’t: it’s a message handled with empathy and care, and he, along with his actor Betty Kaplan, successfully internalizes and effectively externalizes that feeling of regret, sorrow, loneliness, and ultimately, release. If I have a criticism of the work, it’s that I feel Andrew could have perhaps been more focused narratively, with added context that could convey more precisely his own interpretation – while I found room to construct my own, some may not, and it could belie the due appreciation for his ever-burgeoning, ever-evolving visual acumen and editing style. In Walk With Me, the content of Andrew’s cinematic voice doesn’t quite yet match his eloquence, but the potential is obvious, and it would not surprise me if someday many will know Andrew Golledge as one of New York City’s clearest and most distinctive cinematic voices.
Walk With Me will be showing at the 2017 Cinema New York City Film Festival on September 3rd, and you can buy tickets here.
The trailer for the film can be viewed here.