Midnight Confession

By Maxwell McCabe-Lokos | Comedy
A man calls some old friends to make amends for past misdeeds.

It's 1989 in West Berlin, and Manny "Tiger" Jumpcannon is stuck in his apartment, all alone. He's trying to make amends with the people he's lost touch with -- and wronged in his past with some outlandish lies.

Looking for some kind of redemption or connection, he starts dialing up past people in his life that he hasn't heard from in ages. But as Manny embarks on a series of conversations, it reveals that he may not be fully ready to reckon with his own sordid history of deceit, and the role he's played in the misadventures of his past.

Writer-director Maxwell McCabe-Lokos has created a quirky tableaux of strange, oddball souls trying to find meaning and connection in a difficult world, rendered with a gently retro look and eccentric and entertaining writing.

There's a laidback urban cool in the execution that will instantly appeal to fans of filmmakers like Jim Jarmusce or musicians like Tom Waits, who both look at the peccadilloes of the characters in their stories with an affectionate, wry eye and a grizzled old-school hipster patina. It helps that the visuals of the film resemble a great 80s arthouse classic, with rich yet faded colors and the textured quality of celluloid, and the score also has a throwback appeal without hitting the retro aspect too hard.

But the real current of the film is the voice in the writing. The script -- co-written with Rob Benvie -- is basically a long jazz-like conversation, but they offer a comical yet melancholy peek to Manny's character. McCabe-Lokos's Manny is a motormouth with a scrappy fast-talking manner and a restless, almost manic energy. But as his words stream forward, it also reveals a man who seems sincere in his efforts of "self-help jazz," but still fancies himself the victim of the various small fires of his life. That mentality stymies the intent of reconciliation, leaving Manny literally taking a hard look in the mirror.

What Manny does in that little mirror moment is a ruefully ironic ending and a perfect encapsulation of his character, which of course doesn't bode well for his forward path in life. If "Midnight Confession" were a straight drama, the audience would be left with a foreboding for his future. However -- this being a character portrait rendered with an arch, knowing humor -- we can laugh and shake our heads at how some people never learn, though we may also wonder about the blind spots to our own character weaknesses.




You Might Also Like:

Iniquity

By Oliver Goodrum | Drama
A man who bullied a disabled girl tries to escape his past. Then an angry mob finds him.

Pony

By Candice Carella | Drama
A single mother leaves her young daughter with a rock musician uncle.

Sylvia

By Richard Prendergast | Drama
A single mother takes her family on a road trip. But it's to an unwanted destination.

Second Best

By Alyssa McClelland | Comedy
Twin sisters turn into rivals when one's gymnastics career steals the spotlight.

No More Wings

By Abraham Adeyemi | Drama
2 friends meet at their favorite fried chicken shop. But their lives have diverged.

Avarya

By Gokalp Gonen | Animation
A man is trapped on a spaceship after his robot overseer finds every planet uninhabitable.

Feeling Through (Oscars)

By Doug Roland | Drama
A homeless teen meets a deaf-blind man who changes his life forever...

Ernie

By Hadley Hillel | Drama
A man's suicide attempt rips a hole in the ceiling. Then he befriends the boy upstairs.

Dig Your Own Grave

By Kirk Larsen | Comedy
A man is forced to dig his own grave in the desert. But the ground is hard.

Call Connect

By Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell | Drama
A young helpline operator takes her first call and gets more than she expected.

More Than God

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

Welcome to Iron Knob

By Dave Wade | Comedy
A young boy accidentally shoots a stranger and the town tries to cover it up.

CODA

By Erika Davis-Marsh | Romance
A young dancer falls for a deaf guy, then tries to find her place in the world.

Toni With an I

By Marco Alessi | Drama
An awkward girl doesn't fit in at school. Then the Internet comes to save her.

The Things You Think I'm Thinking

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



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.