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4 Variations on a Theme

USA 2014
produced by
Galia Barkol (executive) for Ring the Bells Productions
directed by Jeremiah Kipp
starring Galia Barkol, Brian de la Cruz, Kimberly Freeman, Lucas Raiey, Jay Vilnai (voice), Jeremiah Kipp (voice)
original theme by Galia Barkol; segment 1: screenplay by Justin Mcelwee, music by Jay Vilnai; segment 2: screenplay by Yael Nussbaum, music by Izzy Gliksberg; segment 3: screenplay by Chris Bentley, music by Barbara J. Weber; segment 4: screenplay by Roy Ben Shai


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The basic story: A woman (Galia Barkol) writes something, but is obviously not content with it, so she screws up sheet after sheet of paper. Then she walks up to a church, but is followed by a harlequin (Lucas Rainey), who tries to stay out of her sight while coming closer and closer. When she spots him though, the two kiss passionately. The woman sits down on a park bench and eats an apple. Suddenly another woman (Kimberly Freeman) sits down right besides her and takes a bite from a similar apple almost in unison. When she notices the woman noticing her, she hastily leaves. Finally, the woman goes to an apartment, where she's greeted by a guy (Brian de la Cruz) with open arms.

There are four stories here, told by four different writers and their composers.

  1. Justin & Jay: The woman is asked by someone she trusts to write down all her negative experiences every day at the same timee ... but only when she leaves her home again can she even begin to grasp whether this has actually made her any better ...
  2. Yael & Izzy: The woman is preparing for her last day on earth, as her mind is to be transplanted.
  3. Chris & Barbara: The woman wants to commit suicide, but can't find the perfect wording for her suicide note. And a surreal dream doesn't exactly make things better.
  4. Roy: The woman and a psychiatrist (voiced by Jeremiah Kipp) discuss the weird dream the woman has been having.

4 Themes on a Variation is a rather fascinating experimental short, as it is not based on a script but rather a series of dreamlike episodes connected by nothing but the lead actress, and four writers and their respective composers (in three cases anyways) were asked to fill the little (non-)story with words and music - and the outcomes couldn't be more different, ranging from psychoanalysis to science fiction, fom fighting depression to suicidal tendencies, which each segment in the process becoming a movie all of its own despite using the same pictures, edited the very same way.

I can't but repeat myself, really fascinating!

review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD