Directed by: Will Nash
Written by: Will Nash
Starring: Amy Doyle and Matthew Castle
Short Film Review by: Hannah Sayer
Lady is a funny and informative exploration of “ladette” culture. The phenomenon was popular in the 90s and subverted societal norms of how a woman should act. Lady’s eponymous protagonist delights in doing her own thing and living life by her own rules. Will Nash’s short film was shot entirely on Kodak Super 8mm and this creates a quirky and unique aesthetic which adds to the film’s excellent execution.
The short film is set in South East London and follows the character of Lady, played brilliantly by Amy Doyle, as she goes about her life swearing, binge drinking, eating what she wants and doing what she wants while not caring what anyone else thinks of her. To quote Lady herself talking about the women who call themselves “ladettes”: “Basically, we gave zero fucks”.
Talking directly to the camera, Lady recites a monologue throughout the duration of the short film which gives a brief overview of this “ladette” culture. This monologue highlights its height of popularity in the 90s, how the term began to be demonised by the media as woman began to intrude on traditionally male-dominated spaces and how feminism today has become more political. It also touches on how it is still relevant today through having evolved and that it is still a form of female empowerment.
Filming using Super 8mm adds an experimental feel to Lady which suits the tone of the work extremely well. The aesthetic of the past and of home videos through the use of film adds a nostalgic element and is another way in which the film looks back at the 90s and the height of “ladette” culture. The whole look of the film gives it an even greater edge and enables Lady to capture London and this topic through a unique visual perspective.
Amy Doyle is brilliant in her role as Lady and she carries the short film with charm and wit. One of the best examples of how well she embodies the role is shown in the sequence of Lady eating near the end of the film where she doesn’t care how messy she is. The film’s character development is excellent considering its brief running time. Lady is a fully-formed character which further reinforces how well-conceived this short film is.
Lady is an excellent short film with an engaging message, a wonderful lead performance and a great overall aesthetic. The film’s final moments leave a lasting impression through its abrupt ending, which is spot on in depicting this destabilisation of the traditional view of what a lady should be.
Watch the official movie trailer for Lady below.