Half Empty is a graduation-project from students of the Utrecht School of the Arts. It is a tragicomic short film about modern cynicism and a portrait of generation Y.
Daan (25) has no job, he is maxing out on his student loan and he refuses to finish his college degree. At first he seems to be just another typical member of the Peter Pan generation. However, there is something else going on with him. He is extremely cynical, pessimistic and suffers from the occasional panic attack. He tries his best to shelter himself as much as possible from the outside world.
When one of his best friends returns home from a trip abroad, Daan is forced to leave the comfort and safety of his apartment behind. Through the course of a weekend we follow him as he tries to blend into a variety of social situations. Even though he is surrounded by friends and strangers, Daan is mostly occupied with the thoughts within his own head. But where does his cynical attitude originate from?
Is this confrontation with the outside world enough to trigger a moment of reflection within Daan about his own attitude? Or will he return home at the end of the weekend to the safety and isolation he has gotten so used to?
'Jehovah's witnesses offer Daan a flyer.'
Cynicism is an attitude or state of mind characterized by a general distrust of others' motives believing that humans are selfish by nature, ruled by emotion, and heavily influenced by the same primitive instincts that helped humans survive in the wild before agriculture and civilization became established.
― Navia, Luis E. (1996). Classical Cynicism: A Critical Study.
With this story we create a portrait about modern cynicism. Where does it originate from? And what is the result of such an attitude? It seems very obvious that a cynical attitude will never help you change the world. It will only trigger a spiral of pessimism which will result in the further isolation of yourself from others. Isolation is an important part of this story, a certain type of social isolation that one inflicts upon himself.
A secondary theme in this story is generation Y, sometimes called Millennials or the Peter Pan generation. It is said that this generation started their lives off with exceptionally high expectations of life, and as a result making them less capable of dealing with the failures and disappointments that often make up life. A generation that favors hedonism.
Our main character seems to be the opposite and turns his back on the extreme positivity that characterizes his peers. He views himself as less ignorant because unlike them, he is not in denial about his unhappiness. But is he really that much different from fellow Millennials?
Most of the dialogue spoken within this film will be Dutch. The English version however will feature English subtitles.
After the initial screening of the finished product the plan is to try to get it into as many film festivals as possible. We aim to get our film featured at the NFF (Dutch Film Festival) as part of the student competition. An online screening will be made available for those who donated to this project. After the festival season the film will finally be made available online for anyone to be seen.
A part of the production cost has already been covered by the team. However, we are not able to finance the entire project. Sadly, despite film being a beautiful art form, it is also a costly one. That is why we need your help! We will use your donation to finance the locations, the rental of equipment, cover travel expenses, feed the crew and cast and eventually finance the editing and distribution of the film.
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We want to tell this unique story about cynicism. But we need your help to tell this story. Support our project and become part of our team, and together we will tell this story!
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