Female Filmmaker Friday: Jax In Love (2018)

A lonely woman is driving in the desert when she breaks down and must depend on the kindness of strangers.  In this, she also looks for a connection on a human level.

Written by Rakefet Abergel and directed by Colin Campbell, Jax in Love is a good, albeit short exploration of multiple themes such as loneliness, human connection, love, and letting go.  Abergel’s story shows a flare for human interactions and how to translate them to the screen while Campbell’s direction brings it all forward in a clear and easy to understand manner.  Their work comes together to create a fun short film with unexpected twists and turns.

In the lead of Jax, film writer Rakefet Abergel gives what feels like an honest performance, connecting with the audience quickly and maintaining a hold on their attention throughout the short runtime.  A couple of scenes felt a bit off, but it may just be because they didn’t connect as well overall, between Abergel and the writing and directing.  She is the titular character and the main attraction here, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the cast is to be left behind.  Turning in interesting performances are Ben Kacsandi as Jake, credited as “Hot Guy” on IMDB, and Devi Veysey as Sunny.  Both of them are good and give a way for Abergel to bounce her performance off of people who are strong performers.

The cinematography in which Jax and her cohorts evolve gives them the perfect framing for their interactions and her character arc.  The images created by cinematographer Johnny Kearns are fitting and pull the viewer in even before the story or the character do.  They are well done and carefully framed, showing that even a low budget can get the look of much more with the right person planning the visuals.  The editing by Ned Thorne brings these images together in a flow that works for the story and keeps things moving forward, helping the film with its never boring story.  Adding to the images and their editing is the music by Robert Gates that knows when to underline a scene and when to stay muted, something too few films seem to understand these days.  Here his work works with everything and it helps the film greatly in establishing an emotion impact on the viewer.

Jax in Love is a good example a female character created and written by a woman, giving her that extra little something that makes her believable and more complete.  Rakefet Abergel has a good film on her hands and keeping the performance to herself connects the it with the material even more.  Here she does great work all around and selecting someone else to direct is seemingly the right move for this film.  Jax in Love is a fun little short film with a few twists and turns that are definitely surprising when the viewer gets really into the story.  The film works on many levels and gives a glimpse into what Abergel is capable of.