Stars: Cachito Noguera and Alessandro Fornari
After adoring The Sweet Hand of the White Rose, whatever problems I found with it, I was eager to see what writer/director Davide Melini might have done before that. His previous short film, his third, was The Puzzle, shot two years earlier in 2008. It's much shorter and more to the point, running under five minutes, even including the credits, but it doesn't sacrifice any of the style that was so notable about the later film. It's another agreeably hallucinatory piece that follows a mother unwilling to give any more money to her son. 'It's over, you hear,' she enforces as she slams the phone down on him. So she goes back to her desk to work on a jigsaw puzzle, while the camera becomes her tension, rising and falling and circling around. As time moves on, the curtains swirl and the tension changes, using double exposures along with standard suspense tricks to keep the whole thing stylishly feverish.
The Puzzle can be viewed for free at Vimeo.