The wonderful thing about approaching awards season is not only the heightened sense of amazement at the big players in Hollywood and their properties that garner plaudits, golden statuettes and beyond, but it also highlights some of the often overlooked individuals. These are individuals whose fine pieces of work are overshadowed by the ‘bigger hitters’ but thankfully there are times when we as critics (and fans) are treated to such films that deserve high praise
Such a film is Brix and the Bitch, an instantly hard-hitting, edgy and beautifully shot short film that features a striking story within a short runtime of just under 10 minutes.
With a runtime such as this, a film needs to instantly engage the audience, and Brix and the Bitch certainly does that with an opening shot combining brute force and slow-motion to put us in the middle of a brutal and bloody fight in a seedy underground fighting ring. What makes this opening all the more powerful and shocking is that it pits a woman against a muscular male, with us the audience being brutalised with punches to the gut and face of the woman, drawing blood and even cracking bones. It’s reminiscent of a true UFC matchup and defines the situation in which our lead character, played brilliantly by Dre Swain, finds herself.
After becoming the victor in her mixed gender match, ‘the Bitch’ must face one final opponent to escape from the seedy club owner: her own girlfriend Brix (Alex Marshall-Brown). Their own fight is also one of sheer brutality and one that strikes a chord with us viewers as we are literally faced with that daunting prospect of two people who love one another being forced to a knockout blow.
Brix and the Bitch is a very stylish and well thought out LGBT short film, highlighting the importance of relationships and the risks we would take in forging a better life with one another. It’s powerful, brilliantly directed and well worthy of ten minutes of your time. It hasn’t won numerous festival prizes for nothing!