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Short Film: “Late Bloomer” by Craig Macneill

April 29th, 2011

“Late Bloomer” is an acclaimed short film from 2004 that was an official selection at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and won the Audience Award at the 2004 Lake Placid Film Festival. Narrated by writer Clay Mcleod Chapman, it tells the story of a young boy (Sam Borenzweig) and his classmates as they experience their first sex education class.

Apparently based upon the works of HP Lovecraft (I don’t know enough about Lovecraft’s many novels to opine on any inspiration or comparisons), the short film is, at times, humorous and equally uncomfortable. It has a very grunge music video vibe, almost as if we’re being transported to a decidedly un-tragic, but still somewhat traumatized version of the classroom where Pearl Jam‘s Jeremy spoke (that epic music video is linked below).

Click through for more and to see the short film.

Perhaps it’s not fair to compare “Late Bloomer” to Jeremy. It lacks the power of the intercut images of that music video and the supreme poetry and message of the lyrics. But something about the film brought me back to that classroom (not the woods, the emotions or the story). Perhaps it was the simple insecurity of youth. Certainly not the ironical similarity of each work’s end.

All told, I’m not entirely sure I love the film. Its buildup certainly has moments of humor and even intrigue. The underlying takeaway is still somewhat uncomfortable (echoed with the choice of music and cinematic styling) and it leaves me, above all else, somehow both happy and sad that I attended an all-boys school.

Official Description

Short film directed by Craig Macneill. Written by Clay McLeod Chapman. Produced by Thom Litttle.

Official selection at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, Late Bloomer is a compelling and humorous short film about 7th grade sex ed class gone horribly wrong. Loosely based on the dark tales of H.P. Lovecraft.

Audience Award for Best Short Film at the Lake Placid Film Festival

Best Short Film at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival

Directed by, Craig Macneill
Written by, Clay McLeod Chapman
Produced by, Thom Little
Edited by, Emily Williams
Music by, One Ring Zero
Sound Design, Peter Walsh
Production Designers, Mak & Claire Falkenberg

Sam Borenzweig
Lauren Bond
Danicah Waldo
Courtney Merritt
Godfrey Pflager

Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy”

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