Shashin is a young Indian-Canadian man struggling to find his identity following the loss of his parents. He contemplates his reasons for losing contact with them while he gets the family home ready for sale and empties it of all the seemingly worthless odds and ends.
Writer/director: Faisal Lutchmedial
Producer: Yannick Letourneau
Faisal Lutchmedial says:
“Useless Things, my first professional short fiction, follows themes I began with my feature documentary, My Cultural Divide (2006).
You could say I am seeking a better sense of place, of where I am as a Canadian and where my family finds its roots. When does our family’s expectations and history fade and become fused with us? What part of their culture do we take when they are gone and all we’ve known is the new world?
Useless Things is not an autobiography. The character Shashin is not me although physically I inhabit his space. I think in some ways the Hindu subtext is more real, the larger than life gods and demons that I identified with in some way and wrote about.
Throughout the film there are visual references to Rahu, the serpent demon attempting to swallow Soma (the moon), the elixir of eternal life. Shashin finds himself in shadow, as the moon does during the eclipse, and is always trying to move toward the light of both his mother (Savita – or Surya) or his girlfriend Agnis (Agni).
To enrich the film beyond the surface story, my team and I attempted to use these and other metaphors throughout all of our planning of lighting, art design, and shot composition.
Now that I look back after having recently completed my second short film Mr. Crab (2011), I am very proud of the work we did here. Our goal was to create something intimate, dreamlike, and touching, and I think we succeeded.”
About Faisal Lutchmedial
Faisal is a Montreal filmmaker of both East and West Indian decent. His work has explored his place as a Canadian with a mixed cultural background beginning with the feature documentary My Cultural Divide (2006, 75 min) which premiered at the Montreal World Film Festival, and went on to play around the world.
Lutchmedial then moved toward fiction by writing, directing and acting in the short Useless Things (2009, 16 min). The script had already won the Writer’s Guild of Canada English Script Prize at the Festival Nouveau Cinema Montreal, and has since played in several film festivals.
More recently Lutchmedial completed the short fiction Mr. Crab, a film about a little boy’s escapes into fantasy while trying to understand his angry West Indian father.
Lutchmedial served as the co-writer, cinematographer and editor on the feature Making the Band which opened the Zanzibar International Film Festival this year and went on to win the Chairman’s Award.