For A Few Marbles More

For A Few Marbles More
Kairos Films, 2006

The problem with most short films is that directors tend to skimp on one or more of the film’s essential parts; either the characters are undeveloped, the plot makes no sense, or there is no feeling. For a Few Marbles More (Voor een Paar Knikkers Meer), the short film by Dutch director Jelmar Hufen, suffers from none of these problems; it is essentially the perfectly balanced short film.

The film opens with four children playing a friendly game of marbles. Their fun is interrupted when a couple of older neighborhood hooligans decide to take over the playground and claim the kids’ territory for their own. The four children turn to their parents for assistance but are greeted with indifference. Their last hope is to solicit help from a nameless “dangerous kid” who lives on the next block, a mysterious kid who once slashed a neighbor’s tires for having bad breath, owns a tarantula for a pet, and drinks coffee — black. The children’s hope is that, in exchange for their marbles, the dangerous boy will help them reclaim their turf.

Shot for around $13,000 (that’s over $1,000 per minute), For a Few Marbles More looks fantastic. I mean, absolutely stunning. Hufen has done a terrific job in capturing the children’s plight through his camera angles and shots. This isn’t someone’s weekend project filmed on their friend’s camcorder; this is a quality film, scrunched into 11 minutes (and that includes the closing credits).

For a Few Marbles More is currently making the film festival circuit; if that’s your thing and you get a chance to see it, be sure to. For more information about the film and possibly ordering it on DVD, be sure to check out the Official Site, which is in Dutch.

MySpace Link: For A Few Marbles More

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