Remora – The Plight of the British Seaside Town
The dark and distressing short film Remora explores the relationship between two brothers who are struggling with the loss of their mum in an unspecified British seaside town.
The Remora Breaks Free
David Schofield combines the narrative with the deteriorating coastal town extremely successfully as the villainous loan shark (Luke McGibney) resides in the arcade, a focal point of any British seaside town.
The title ‘Remora’ is made relevant more than once throughout the film – a remora attaches itself to a shark’s undercarriage and feeds whilst catching a ride in a similar way to which Leighton sucks up to Eric the loan-shark.
Leighton (Josh Casswell) is the younger of the two brothers but is tasked with looking after Cass (Matthew Mellalieu) who suffers from an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Leighton is given the job of caring for a debtor named Cheryl (Charlotte Rhodes) and the two brothers enjoy a day with her, visiting the aquarium and watching movies, reminding them of simpler times.
This inevitably leads to a tumultuous closing scene in which Leighton has to choose which direction he wants to take, neither of which offer a particularly pleasant outcome.
The Seaside Town
Remora was shot in Rhyl and Towyn in November 2015 on the North Wales coast using camera equipment from Ice Film. Adverse weather conditions presented a range of issues and at one point a hurricane warning meant a lighting set up had to be changed from exterior lighting, shining through windows, to interior practical lighting from lamps in shot.
The setting was significant as Leighton’s character is intrinsically linked to the plight of the British seaside town and this is captured beautifully during the 20-minute drama. The point is made clear that these towns must treasure their pasts and histories rather than fall into dilapidation and crime.
This is, of course, easier said than done as many coastal areas are being left behind as the country becomes more and more centripetal. The guilt-edged and traumatic ending gives the impression that Leighton had made the correct decision but at what cost?