One Man’s Loss is profound in its simplicity. In its short 6 minutes, it contemplates how far (or not far) superfluous materialism will get you, as well as the laws and pay offs of karma and the lures and deception of good appearance.
A homeless man wanders the streets quite hopelessly, but he’s not totally aimless as he digs local garbage cans for shoes that his feet could have clearly used long before now. The heat is soaring and the man’s clothes, hair and body look about as dry as Gandhi’s own sandals. He’s in a sorry situation, yet it’s the well-dressed and well-off man in his convertible who exemplifies bitterness that is unmatched to his prospers. He’s unkind and hot-tempered in his exchange with our harmless vagabond, and while it’s clichéd to pieces, we’re happy to identify the hero of this piece immediately. If everything’s right in the world, this snazzy man shall get his comeuppance fairly promptly.
As our hardened hero trundles on, unfazed by the rudeness that he imaginably faces daily, he’s halted by the entry of a shard of glass into his foot. He saw that one coming. It’s a blessing in disguise however, as fate’s clearly had this one up its sleeve. As he sits down to fish it out, he’s hit on the head by a $500 shoe, thrown out of the above window in a fit of rage, by none other than a lady who has had dalliances with our antagonist from the convertible earlier. Sickened by the smell of another woman, she gets rid of his smart suit piece by piece through the window, unknowingly gifting them to a more deserving candidate below.
Meanwhile, our lead character is sprucing himself up with the shower of mysterious donations from the sky. My initial suspicions are confirmed in this minor alteration of his appearance; this is a beautiful man, only he was hiding under a lion’s mane and a beige potato sack ensemble. He washes his long hair in rainwater and suddenly he’s an achingly dapper male model, only of the hipster breed. The girl from the apartment commendably leaves, car keys in hand, when her lover lashes out on her physically. She hops into the car with the person she wouldn’t know to be homeless, just because he knows how to drive (it also helps that he’s now attractive), and they both ride out into better pastures.
The vagabond was the better man, but this goodness of heart was disguised by an off-putting exterior. And there’s our lesson: don’t judge a book by its cover. While I feel like I’ve learnt that one before, Philip Sansom, your short was visually stunning. It made me want to go to LA and glow like this film. It’s also definitely a message that’s worth repeating. At the same time however, this broad’s sense of smell wouldn’t want to be strong. Rainwater does not clean (lesson #2 for the day.)