There’s one key thing that sticks out in films, above most other things; passion. A film is instantly more enjoyable when you can see clear as day that the people making it were in love with it, and even when the execution isn’t great, it can elevate the film and speak volumes about those behind the camera.
I’m not trying to imply that Dirty Books is at all a bad film; the 15 minute short, revolving around a young school news paper editor who’s distraught when he’s told the publication will be now be made digitally, and conjures up a number of schemes to keep it alive, is honestly really impressive. But there are certain moments that don’t hit and certain performances that are a little lacking. These just don’t matter though, because everyone is having a good time doing it. Zachary Lapierre set out to make a great film, and his dedication to his craft really shines.
What’s perhaps most impressive about the film is taking a reasonably simplistic idea and turning it into something so much more. For a film about kids, it’s got a very adult approach and doesn’t fall into traps that easily could have happened when making a film in this setting with these kinds of characters. It doesn’t particularly feel cliche’d or overdone, but rather, takes all of it’s elements and works on them to their absolute best, culminating in a well thought out and very satisfying ending.
As I say, it’s not consistently well done, but there’s so much passion going in the making of it that it doesn’t truly matter. Dirty Books is a well written, well shot, and very enjoyable little adventure that deserves a lot of praise.