Film Reviews:

Rose Red

(Simon Pummell, UK, 1994)

This 18-minute, BFI-funded high-tech thriller gives Royal College of Art graduate Pummell a chance to prove he's got what it takes in the directing stakes. His graduation film Surface Tension having won him a prize at the London Film Festival and in the three years between that first film and this one his other films have also won some major international awards. Strange then that I've not heard hide nor hair of him since this short SF/film noir hybrid.

In 2025, a detective's investigation of a drug theft forces him to explore his dark side. Black and white dream sequences of the detective as an innocent boy contrast with the clinical future setting. The Rose Red of the title is a drug used to switch off the body's immune system so that people can jack into computers without the body rejecting the experience with fatal consequences. Stylish and slick as one might expect from an art school graduate funded by the BFI, it would be interesting to see if Pummell had directed a feature or has had to admit defeat, making a more reliable living in the world of commercial advertising instead. 6/10

Rob Dyer (December 2001)

See also:

Crimes of The Future

A-Z of Film Reviews