The Six Dollar Fifty Man

by Mason Cade Packer, Year 10, Kapiti Coast

The Six Dollar Fifty Man (Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland, 2009)

Kapiti Coast’s own award winning The Six Dollar Fifty Man is the third short film directed by Wellingtonians Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland. The film which won best short at Sundance 2010 follows eight year-old Andy as he slips through the schooling system surrounded by bullies, childhood crushes and a make believe world.

In his debut role, Oscar Vandy-Connor, does an excellent job of portraying the main protagonist Andy. Andy is a gutsy, but somewhat oddball character who seems to be stuck in a fantasy world based on the hit 1970’s show The Six Million Dollar Man. The film which is nicely shot and directed by Mark and Louis, is accompanied by a fantastic soundtrack by Connon Hosford. One of the most intriguing things about The Six Dollar Fifty Man is how the directors transformed such a simple and well worn idea of school bullies and young love into such an interesting short story. With such outstanding supporting actors alongside Oscar, this film and it’s characters really does give it an original twist.

The soundtrack combined with the films editing style makes for an entertaining way to portray the characters feelings, emotions and actions alongside the general setting of the film, being a school and a field. The directors decision to shoot in film as opposed to digital delivers an authentic rustic 1970’s feel to it all.

The Six Dollar Fifty Man, which you can find on www.vimeo.com, has an excellent cast and crew, a fantastic duo of directors and obviously a great soundtrack. And as a Kiwi and fellow citizen of the Kapiti Coast where it was filmed, I am glad to say I am proud that local New Zealand directors are achieving such good quality content. The Six Dollar Fifty Man is captivating and relatable, and is a short film that should be on every Kiwi’s watch list.

★★★★ ½

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