By Ollie Verschoyle | Drama
A mundane event sparks a glimpse into an unseen world in a small American town.

A girl twirls a baton on a soccer field. An old man stands on his lawn and stares out at the world. A salesman of”sensory time travel” visits a client, who remembers a morning in a cafe. A man on his way to work misses his train out of the suburbs. A young boy wanders off into the woods, where he has a strange encounter. But at one crucial moment, they become linked through a moment of piercing awareness.

Writer-director Ollie Verschoyle has crafted a hypnotic composite portrait of strangers who share one exquisitely crafted moment of interconnection in American suburbia. Using a unique mixture of fantasy and naturalism, it uses the tools of cinema to create a odd, beguiling synchronicity of consciousness when four strangers pierce through the veils of their individual realities to glimpse at the mysterious, beautiful present reality that connects them.

Verschoyle takes on both director and cinematographer roles, and the narrative and visual development in the film are yoked in a particularly intimate way. Exquisitely photographed with piercing clarity, the film has a precise eye for the small details of suburbia: the sprinklers, trees, lawns, signs, and cars that seem invisible to most people as they go about their daily lives.

The film’s achievement is how it seems to foreground this layer of sensory “detritus,” and in the act of bringing it attention, imbues the stuff of ordinariness with a mysterious beauty. Colors seems particularly important in this slice of the world, with yellow linking all the characters. The color of optimism and happiness, it seems to suffuse each character’s world with a particularly luminous light, elevating the ordinary.

Sound also plays a strong part in the overall musicality of the film. The score is particularly effective, both evocative and haunting, especially during the more traditionally suspenseful sequences of the short. The sound design is layered in an unusual way, connecting each separate character. There is no real traditional dialogue, underscoring a sense of the uncanny.

The editing has its own rhythm, attuned to the small shifts in sound, movement and light that link all the characters. Cuts often happen over matching movement, propelling character towards a moment of change. As the moment builds and unfolds, the interplay of sound and visuals seem to orchestrate themselves into a convergence, a collective “deep breath” that pierces through each character’s world and links them all together, by virtue of simply being alive at the same moment of time and space.

Some characters seems to be lost in the past, others frozen by fear and others simply present — but the pause takes them all out of their ordinary reality into a brief transcendence.

The title “Madeleine” evokes not a character name, but the famed madeleine pastry that plays such a pivotal role in Marcel Proust’s modernist literary achievement “In Search of Lost Time.” Like its literary antecedent, the short film is a poetic meditation about how we experience time, carrying the past and sometimes even the future in our present. Rarely, though, do we often look up out of our concerns and simply become alive to the world happening around us.

“Madeleine” creates that uncanny transcendent moment when we stop, pause and become aware of the magic behind the mundane surfaces of life — when we are aware of our aliveness, in fact, and see it for the remarkable feat that it is.

You Might Also Like:

More Than God

By Kev Cahill | Comedy
A devoted husband suspects his wife is cheating on him. Then he hides under the bed.

The Things You Think I’m Thinking

By Sherren Lee | Drama
A burn-survivor goes on his first date after his accident.


By Christophe M. Saber | Comedy
A father slaps a disobedient child. Then a bystander threatens to report him for abuse.

The Landing

By Josh Tanner | Sci-Fi
A man uncovers the horrifying truth of what landed on his childhood farm.

Sometimes, I Think About Dying (Sundance)

By Stefanie Abel Horowitz | Drama
A woman thinks about dying. But a co-worker asks her out.

The Goodnight Show

By Charlie Schwan | Sci-Fi
A virgin tries to get laid before an unstoppable asteroid ends the world.

Naysayer ft. Steven Yeun

By David M. Helman | Drama
A young father who is cut off from his son takes matters into his own hands.


By Kaveh Mazaheri | Drama
An Iranian woman's husband has an accident at home... and she just watches him die.

Joseph’s Reel

By Michael Lavers | Romance
An elderly man is given the opportunity to relive one day of his life.

Lost and Found (The Oscars)

By Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe | Animation
A crochet dinosaur must unravel itself to save the love of its life.


By Joe Gillette | Romance
2 strangers at a wedding reception make an unexpected connection.

Exit Strategy

By Travis Bible | Sci-Fi
A man in a time-loop must work with his brother to prevent a catastrophic fire.

Garfield (Sundance)

By Georgi Bank-Davies | Romance
A young woman wakes up in a strange place, with a strange guy.

Partners (Sundance)

By Joey Ally | Romance
A couple's sex life is in a slump, forcing them to reconsider the relationship.


By Noel Loozen | Comedy
A young man works in a food truck, across from a brothel with a girl who needs his help.

Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.