I just watched a three-minute short film called Fried Barry. Now, you may ask: “How much of a story can you tell in three minutes?” Well, the answer is that you can tell a lot more than you might think. For instance, Fried Barry might only last 180 seconds but it tells the story of a lifetime.
Fried Barry tells the story of Barry (Gary Green), a man who has obviously fallen on hard times. When we first see him, he’s dirty, he’s scruffy, he’s twitching, and he’s wandering around in what appears to be a deserted warehouse. His eyes appear to be full of madness as they dart from one side of the warehouse to the other. A series of quick cuts, taking us from extreme close-ups of Barry to medium shots back into Barry’s face (and potentially his mind), keep us just as disorientated as he is. The soundtrack is full of the sounds of the chaos that is erupting in Barry’s mind and we wonder if Barry is insane or maybe if we’ve just entered someone else’s dream. It’s when we see the spoon and the hypodermic needle that we come to understand that Barry is a heroin addict.
When he shoots up, the short film just gets more chaotic. Shots of Barry looking somewhat blissful are followed by shots of Barry looking even more pissed off. Occasionally, a peaceful image appears but the sounds of chaos continue to erupt in the background. By the time Barry is using his tongue to catch flies like a frog, we find ourselves wondering once again if we’re watching Barry from the outside or if we’ve entered his head.
Looking over the notes that I jotted down while watching Fried Barry, I see that I originally wrote that Barry was “a crazy dude in a warehouse.” That’s probably not entirely fair to Barry. When you see someone at a certain point in their life, you never fully understand how they reached that point. That’s true of the desperate people that we see everyday and certainly, that’s true of someone like Barry. Who knows who Barry was before he became “a crazy dude in a warehouse.” The film is full of hints but it’s up to us, as the viewer, to put them together.
David Lynch once describes Eraserhead as being “a dream of dark and disturbing things,” and I think the same description applies to this 3-minute film. It’s a film that will definitely stick with you. iHorror released it this week so check it out.
The short film Fried Barry has been adapted into a feature film, which has just completed post-production and should be coming out at the end of 2019.