Widgets Magazine
Cardinal Studios’ latest films: “Raspberry,” “Hellevator”

Cardinal Studios’ latest films: “Raspberry,” “Hellevator”

Cardinal Studios, Stanford’s short-film production organization, presents two of their latest treats, “Hellevator” and “Raspberry,” tonight, March 3rd, at 6 p.m. in Oshman Hall in McMurtry Art Building. 

“Raspberry” (wr. Bella Levaggi, d. Spencer Slovic)

For three dollars and a twelve-ounce sized cup, Cardinal Studios presents student director Spencer Slovic and writer Bella Levaggi’s ten-minute short film “Raspberry,” which follows the journey of a young transgender male, Aiden (Aiden Shahpar Mirza), into a strange time warp down memory lane when he takes a sip of his raspberry smoothie at 11:59am. Reliving and witnessing important and pivotal moments in his life, such as meeting his college roommate for the first time and telling his father about his change in identity, Aiden goes through a series of memories before arriving to the one that seemingly matters the most — an argument with his best friend Maggie (Kathleen Kelso) when he was still Allison that resulted in a temporary rift in the friendship. Battling with the absence of their friendship, Aiden orders an “It Takes Two to Mango” smoothie instead of his and Maggie’s regular flavor of “Berry Raspberry” but is given a raspberry smoothie anyways. With this smoothie, Aiden is taken back and given a second chance to review crucial moments in his life, which ultimately helps him realize how to fix the trouble with him and Maggie.

With special green screen effects, smooth transitions, standard cross-cutting editing and sensitive acting turns from Mirza and Kelso, “Raspberry” deals with the encounters of our past and dealing with decisions that shape our current selves. The underlying theme of rekindling and keeping important relationships remain prominent within the short film and the act of realizing this is helped with a little bit of time travel and fruity deliciousness.

“Hellevator” (d. Sonia Gonzalez, wr. Arthur Iula and Matt Jeakle)

In this short, comedic yet powerful twenty-minute film directed by Sonia Gonzalez and written by Arthur Iula and Matt Jeakle, “Hellevator” relays the theme of resilience and sticking up for oneself. We meet Jeffery Gibbons (James Seifert) at his office job where he lives a routine and mundane schedule. At his desk, Jeffrey finds himself in a lone abandoned hallway with an persistently ringing elevator. Once inside, Jeffrey realizes that this elevator takes him through different “floors” of Hell. As the elevator descends, Jeffrey experiences various encounters with different lost souls and even faces Satan himself (Matt Jeakle).

With extensive use of camera movement and hand-held shots, “Hellevator” is commendable for its diverse range of shot angles, sizes and editing and successfully achieves a state of distortion and chaos for moments of Jeffrey’s confusion. In terms of the cinematography, a notable and beautiful scene when Jeffrey meets his soul (Ali Rosenthal) in an outside field stylistically holds a great sense of clear imagery and various shot sizes cutting back and forth between Jeffrey and Jeffrey’s soul reaction to one another. Giving Jeffrey the pep talk he has been needing for his entire life, his soul convinces him to beat his circumstances and finally stick up for himself, because he deserves better. With a change of attitude and heart, Jeffrey storms and fights his way out of Hell with a clean getaway and change of mindset.


Contact Chelsea Red-Horse Mohl at cmohl2 ‘at’ stanford.edu.