Table 7
December 1, 2011 6:40 AM   Subscribe

A couple has an intimate conversation in a restaurant, unaware that their every word is being closely monitored. This is Table 7, a short film from indie filmmaker Marko Slavnic.
posted by jbickers (37 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ok, that was amusing. I didn't see it coming.
posted by yeoz at 6:50 AM on December 1, 2011


Cute. Very sweet.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:58 AM on December 1, 2011


Cute twist. Too bad the writing and acting was horribly stilted. Oh well.
posted by litnerd at 7:10 AM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Too bad the writing and acting was horribly stilted.

Man, there's always somebody willing to step and yell "FAIL".

I love that, end to end. Premise, execution, all of it. The stilted talking-in-circles, the not-addressing-it-directly, that great Yellow Peril cold-war vibe leading up to a genuinely novel twist at the end. A+, would click the youtube link again.
posted by mhoye at 7:15 AM on December 1, 2011 [12 favorites]


Well done, clever idea, good execution... nice find...

hey, litnerd, sorry you're having a bad day my fortune cookie told me to say that
posted by tomswift at 7:17 AM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Step up and yell fail, of course. Too bad about the typo! FAIL!
posted by mhoye at 7:18 AM on December 1, 2011


Who said "FAIL"? Not me. What's wrong with pointing out flaws in a project?

Since when does something have to be either perfectly executed or a perfect failure? This whole "shut up if you have something critical to say" internet culture is increasingly frustrating.
posted by litnerd at 7:26 AM on December 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


OK, I thought that was terrific. Thanks for posting this!
posted by jquinby at 7:26 AM on December 1, 2011


I want to go to that restaurant - so much cheaper and tastier than couples therapy.
posted by honey-barbara at 7:29 AM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The writing was stilted only to avoid saying what they were arguing about. The acting wasn't that stilted, although the guy gave off a yucky bro feeling that made me kind of wish she HAD broken up with him.
posted by DU at 7:29 AM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Too bad the cliched *hey look, I'm a critic* term "horribly stilted" had to be used. Oh well.
posted by davebush at 7:32 AM on December 1, 2011


"Since when does something have to be either perfectly executed or a perfect failure? "

I think we passed that rule yesterday.... you didn't get the memo?
posted by tomswift at 7:33 AM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK, help! I absolutely canNOT make out the last few lines that evidently make up the twist at the end! My hearing is such that those frequencies are unintelligible. Can someone transcribe what she sez after the listener tears off the sheet?
posted by drhydro at 7:37 AM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nice. I was surprised at the number of credits. I guess it really does take an army to make a movie.
posted by bz at 7:41 AM on December 1, 2011


dryhydro, I think that's just showing that the listener is moving on to another table ...
posted by jbickers at 7:42 AM on December 1, 2011


After he tears off the sheet at the end, the conversation doesn't seem to be between the same two people, I think we're supposed to be overhearing another table's conversation, not related to the story line and of no importance.
posted by tomswift at 7:43 AM on December 1, 2011


It's a different conversation between two women.

Woman 1: and...he asked me if I wanted to do a couple's Christmas card this year.
Woman 2: really?
Woman 1: yeah!
Woman 2: After six months!
Woman 1: yeah! And I was really surprised, cuz I'm like, "what guy wants to do a christmas card... fade out.
posted by King Bee at 7:58 AM on December 1, 2011


I took it to be the woman at the table saying that on the phone to a friend.
posted by ambient2 at 8:09 AM on December 1, 2011


The typist clearly fiddles with his "box" after the fortunes go out and he sees his work is done. We should assume he's tuning in to some other table.
posted by King Bee at 8:09 AM on December 1, 2011


I think a paternalistic surveillance society would be justified if its scope was limited to this.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 8:36 AM on December 1, 2011


What, no heavy, drawn-out, painful silences? Those two were communicating!
posted by headnsouth at 8:48 AM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


This whole "shut up if you have something critical to say" internet culture is increasingly frustrating.

What alternate universe Internet do you hang out on?
posted by AdamCSnider at 8:56 AM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


What alternate universe Internet do you hang out on?

OK, I know what you mean, but I also know what litnerd meant about the "shut up if you have something critical to say" internet culture. On one hand, internet comments tend to be overwhelmingly critical. But with certain topics, like an obscure indie short film, the comments are supposed to be gushingly positive and not at all critical. That's a strangely incoherent set of norms. We should feel free to criticize or praise anything depending on whether we happen to have a positive or negative view of it.
posted by John Cohen at 9:18 AM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


John Cohen... This should probably be a meta, but its been hashed over so many times there isn't much point. In a nutshell, the problem, perhaps, is that a comment that bashes the subject of an art post right out of the gate based on a matter of taste (as opposed to "fact") quickly derails it and sets the tone... Maybe litnerd could have just "meh'ed" to herself and moved along...

/admits it took me forever to learn that skill!
posted by tomswift at 9:40 AM on December 1, 2011


Well, that was trite. I've never seen an argument patched up by a single fortune cookie, let alone two that just happen to speak to the current dinner conversation. They actors are clearly acting, there's not "meat" to the argument, they're just saying lines to get to the silly twist.

The Simpsons did a better take on this, way back when.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:15 AM on December 1, 2011


It is a failure of perspective to see criticism as bashing.

I liked everything about it -- it was a great idea, well shot and edited, with a fine and well-deployed soundtrack -- except the acting, which felt like the actors hadn't spent enough time with the script. If I were asked, I would have quite a few notes for the actors including comments about their pacing, the way neither of them seem to be listening and processing during the beats and pauses, and the seemingly deadpan lack of stress on important words (for example, a more effective reading might be "What do you think we should do; what do you want?"), which leads to a sense that they aren't invested in the relationship. This matters more to some people than to others, but this kind of "dead" acting seemed flat and left me feeling like I was watching actors and not a couple. Some might call it "horribly stilted;" I would describe it in a more constructive way but I think my criticism is the same, and equally valid.

This stuff about spoiling an "art post" right out of the gate is bunk. If you disagree, say why you liked it, not why other users are wrong to say they don't.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 10:16 AM on December 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


But with certain topics, like an obscure indie short film, the comments are supposed to be gushingly positive and not at all critical.

It's also OK to say nothing!
posted by mhoye at 10:42 AM on December 1, 2011


It's also OK to say nothing!

All that is necessary for the triumph of triteness is that critics do nothing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:02 AM on December 1, 2011


Cute twist. Too bad the writing and acting was horribly stilted. Oh well.

To chime in on the discussion about this.... I think my problem isn't the content (feedback/criticism is fine!), it's the tone.

Perhaps it's just the way I'm reading this, but the way this is phrased comes off as really dismissive, derisive, etc. Instead of emphasizing the good aspects, but noting the existence of flaws... It notes the existence of some good aspects, but much more strongly emphasizes the negatives.

I kind of agree with the general criticism, but since I like it, I'd say something like, "The acting was a little spotty in places, but the twist, and the way it was shot and everything was cool!" And even if I hadn't liked it, writing, "The twist, and the way it was shot and everything was cool, but the spotty acting kind of sullied it for me."

The quoted sentences come off as lazily shitting on the linked movie to me rather than offering up anything useful.
posted by sparkletone at 11:18 AM on December 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Very sweet. Thanks—i needed that.
posted by feistycakes at 12:12 PM on December 1, 2011


That was pretty enjoyable.

Also, when Whiner McWhineAss makes his short film and posts it on YouTube i'm sure it will be awesome.
posted by chunking express at 12:42 PM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]



Nice short work, and balanced telling a story with visuals. Well done.

Some are objecting to negative comments; if they're articulate and specific about what they don't like, I wouldn't lash out. Everyone owns an opinion.
posted by lon_star at 1:36 PM on December 1, 2011


Oh that was great!
posted by odinsdream at 4:02 PM on December 1, 2011


Yeah, it's bullshit to object to criticism. Since when is it beneficial to present a work and say, "watch it, and then praise it - if you have anything negative to say, just shut up".

What people (especially the artists) need, desperately, is honest and insightful criticism. That's very, very hard to come by. Anyone who can give you insight, is worth their weight in gold.

Here's the reality: there is a tidal wave of product made every year - hundreds of thousands of shorts, movies and various video projects. It takes a miracle to stand out. Do you know what happens after you've shot your short? Let me tell you: 99.9999999% of the time - NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. Anyone who's tried pushing their screenplays in the industry, is familiar with this old rule: it's almost impossible to get read. READ - let go further along the line and into development. Just getting READ is akin to winning the lottery. And by "read", I don't mean your grandma, best friend or significant other.

That old rule, has had a corollary in the last ten years or so. It used to be that the way forward was to not bother trying to get your screenplay read and (lottery upon a lottery) financed - just finance it yourself and shoot the damn thing and come to market with that. Well, that was then. The new rule is: it's almost impossible to get anyone to look at your finished product.

And now comes the third corollary, developed in just the last few years: even getting seen and winning some festivals gives you very little as far as mainstream success. Industry people will tell you, that if you are going the festival route for exposure, unless you win a major festival, you are pretty much out of luck (and by major, we're talking about the top 5 world-wide). So you need feedback to take you over the hump here, you need every scrap of insight so you can improve your work and stand out.

Anyone who takes the time to read/watch/comment on your stuff should be your personal Jesus whom you worship as a god. Of course, I mean someone who has genuine insight, and even better, can open some doors. But you never will know if you come across such a person, if you squelch feedback right out of the gate.

How is it relevant to this short? Well, it's relevant, because the readership here is quite heterogenous. You never know who is posting, and the benefit in this case is not to the author of this short, but to other MF readers who may want to one day shoot a short, or who already do, and are looking for insight. There may be 1000 comments and only 2 are worth anything, but it's those two that matter. Why stop that by pre-emptively shutting down any criticism? Is a page filled with "atta boys" really more valuable?

On the short itself - my personal opinion - I liked the idea. It was pretty decent. I hated the execution. I thought it was weak: the writing, the acting, the production design, the editing, the camera work - almost all of the execution. It was stuffed to the gills with cliches and there was absolutely nothing that stood out in a good way. It may be comforting to hear "great job!", but there are tons of people who won awards at various festivals but can't get a film financed. You are not helping by silencing the critics - who just may be able to give you insight as to why this apparently "great" short won't result in a three picture deal. This is where an insightful critic is particularly valuable: when the work in question has obvious merits (as this does), and when there is nothing obviously wrong (like amateur-level technical mistakes) - any fool can tell when stuff is out of focus and you can't hear the dialogue; it takes insight to critique in such a way, so that apparently "good" work can be lifted up to "great" or "noteworthy" work.

The point is not to accept all criticism as god's given truth. It's your responsibility to take that which has value and disregard what misses the mark - the better you are able to do that, the more successful you'll be. But there's one sure way to failure: defensiveness in the face of criticism.
posted by VikingSword at 4:24 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought it was weak: the writing, the acting, the production design, the editing, the camera work - almost all of the execution. It was stuffed to the gills with cliches and there was absolutely nothing that stood out in a good way.

I thought the radio guy did a good job. The little smirk he gives when he hears the couple forgive each other is priceless. His reaction when he starts to lose the audio feed is spot on.

What was wrong with the editing, exactly? I didn't see any errors, and I liked a lot of the quick cuts.

I might be horrible at critiquing films, though. Maybe quick cuts are "lame" now or something.
posted by King Bee at 6:02 PM on December 1, 2011


And that, my friends, is of course why Transformers made bazillions of dollars. Because it was perfection.
posted by odinsdream at 6:02 PM on December 1, 2011


a comment that bashes the subject of an art post right out of the gate based on a matter of taste (as opposed to "fact") quickly derails it and sets the tone

The "amusing" and "cute" comments before it were less factual. Unless this is supposed to be cheerleading practice, we should accept all judgmental comments or reject all judgmental comments.

And the "rail" in a post like this should be something like "Here is a piece of art -- have a look at it and then we can discuss it freely," not "Here is a piece of art I like. If you don't agree with me, please move along and let only us likers discuss why we like it."
posted by pracowity at 3:26 AM on December 2, 2011


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