Who Is Elmore Dean?

There are few people who have truly risen to the top of their professions. For every athlete laden with awards and trophies, there are thousands of others who never made it past high school glory, and for every Roger Ebert there are a myriad of movie critics like me, who no one has ever heard of. In Who Is Elmore Dean?, the title character (Timothy J. Cox) has undeniably made it big -- he's a somewhat reclusive songwriter about to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Despite this being one of the most important days of his life, Elmore doesn't let it change his usual routine much. He hits the snooze button and breakfasts on toast and bacon -- but underneath these ordinary things there's a distinct sense of wrongness as various small, strange events happen with increasing speed. Is Elmore's apartment home to a restless spirit? Or is it the apartment itself learning to toy with its perplexed occupant?

From that description this short film might sound a little creepy, but the overall impression here is more of mischief than malice. The hapless Elmore seems almost used to these bizarre happenings (or at least a lot less shocked by them than I would be), but he's certainly vexed and you can't blame him. Who needs any extra distractions on one of the biggest and busiest days anyone could ever have?

Timothy Cox gives a winning performance as always, making Elmore a grounded, real person as well as a famed songwriter in this tale of man versus apartment where you're not always entirely sure which of the two you're rooting for. The end result is a fun short film with a satisfying little twist at the end. Maybe we can't all relate to winning a deeply prestigious award, but we've all had days where everything manages to spin out of control despite our best efforts, and there we can all sympathize with the utterly overwhelmed Elmore.

Elmore at breakfast. An absolutely normal day, nothing to see here.


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