The Shirley Temple

Director : Daniela Sherer

A glug of ginger ale, a splash of grenadine and a maraschino cherry make a Shirley Temple, the virgin cocktail served to kids in attempt to acclimatise them to, but not fully authorise their place at the adult table. It’s a gesture that is both inviting and isolating. It’s a visitors pass to the grown up world, admitting children to life past bedtime. But long after our own induction into adulthood, our memories of those nights fade and we forget just how in tune children are to what happens above their heads. In her nine minute noir, Daniela Sherer, enters the murky world of one child, as he navigates his mother’s party, creating a darkly hypnotic and vivid drama; its power and suspence only enhanced by Sherer’s animatic style. The nameless boy, his sadness and solitude palpable, lives most of his night in parallel to the party. He floats between his imagination and the house - under the feet of guests and then outside, face to face with the sea where he is interrupted by a female guest.  A meeting of shared sorrow, her role for the night relegated as her husband sneaks off with the boys mother, who, drowning her own sorrows is buoyed by booze into an unsatisfactory trist. What happens to each pair becomes intertwined through the illustrations which fold the stories in on one another, knitting the events of the night in to a shared history and marking the end of our boys innocence.

Ami Guest