Tribeca Film Festival Coverage: Fire In Cardboard City Review: When Legos Meet Matches

Chronicling the calamity of a blazing inferno within the confines of a cardboard metropolitan area, “Fire In Cardboard City” by Phil Brough can make the tear ducts of audiences leak with its compelling storyline and segments of emotional cinematography. The plotline of the film deals with the daunting task of soothing the savage beast that is the plume of fire that is placed upon the unnamed male protagonist.

The short film explores the concoctions of a juvenile mind and represents those who are young and those who choose to categorize themselves as young at heart. The limited dialogue and nostalgic cardboard style composition simulates transtemporal travel to the halcyon days of imaginative play. Utilizing anthropomorphic makeshift figurines to narrate a natural disaster in an urban setting, the short film successfully avoids relying heavily on high budget animation or special effects, like Spielberg or Bruckheimer. “Fire In Cardboard City” really embraces the identity that it has as an independent film, almost like it was made by the next door neighbor of a suburban family.

There are a few moments in the film in which tissues are recommended to be at most arms length away because there are scenes that can only be described as tear- jerkers. Having a crying session when watching “Fire In Cardboard City” is something that goes back to the days of childhood when crying was a necessary outlet that was reciprocated with empathy, which unlocks the repressed cognitive momentos of something once lost and now found again when viewing this film. Though the tone of the film is not spritely, it still plays on the heartstrings of audiences like a violin.

Author: William Morton

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