Raindance Film Festival: George and the Vacuum

Directed by Chadd Harbold
Written by Charlyne Yi
Starring Fred Armisen and Sophia Takal

by Joanna Orland

To tell an engaging story in five and a half minutes is no easy feat, but director Chadd Harbold has pulled it off with George and the Vacuum, a sweet and sentimental story of letting love go.

The film starts lightheartedly with George (Fred Armisen) walking Lucy (Sophia Takal) home after a date.  The mood is light and flirtatious as Lucy returns the favour by walking George home in return.  On the journey, the couple joke and tease as George tells Lucy of his recurring dream of how he keeps trying to vacuum up a never-ending pile of dirt.

As George and Lucy arrive at George’s place, George offers to return the favour and walk Lucy home, revealing the never-ending loop that they are stuck in.  The grainy black and white cinematography reinforces the revelation that we are inside George’s mind as he goes around and around trying to move past his relationship with Lucy, who no longer loves him.

George realizes he is stuck in this loop, replaying the memory of Lucy over and over in his head.  The Lucy of George’s subconscious tries to help him out of this loop, which he seems receptive to, but as he asks to walk her home just one more time, we’re left wondering if he ever will truly be able to break free.

While we can’t be sure that George will end this repeating cycle,  George and the Vacuum the film certainly deserves a repeat viewing.

Our interview with director Chadd Harbold.


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