A great film is not necessarily a matter of chance but a proof of the rational and emotional intelligence of a director to carry on the work of their masters. From this point of view, ‘JUNE‘ is both an excellently made short film and also a spectacular praise to some great creators of world cinema. This artistic affinity of Dwayne Cameron for the masters who “contaminated” him with the passion for cinema does not seem, however, to bother the director of the short film. On the contrary, his obvious, fully embraced admiration we can feel in his wonderful project functions as an engine that takes the emotion of the storyline to another level. More precisely, the narrative’s mainstay, namely the pain of a couple facing the imminent death of their baby, is fed, like a tree, with the “sap” of several artistic visions that intertwine in an elaborate and fascinating roots network.
We will find in the layers of this complex and emotional tribute brought to life the sacredness of nature from A. Tarkovsky’s films and the exuberant, metaphysical, and heart-breaking aesthetics of Terrence Mallick’s “The Tree of Life”. Likewise, we may recognize in the emotional anatomy of the two characters both the deep silences and the vibrant but fragile atmosphere of K. Kieslowski’s films, as well as the abyssal depths of Lars von Trier’s female protagonists. The core of this sensory and synesthetic framework is, however, the poetic and agonizing transcendence of several films signed by D. Aronofsky to whom the creator of the short film seems to pay the deepest respect. In fact, this project seems like a rewriting of the feature “The Fountain” that serves Dwayne Cameron as a source of inspiration not only for the narrative pretext and for the central metaphor – the leitmotif of the tree – but also for the whole visual and musical structure. Of course, such an aesthetic choice, even though extremely elaborate and multi-faceted, may receive some circumspect comments from those who would condemn the lack of originality of the creator. However, the professionalism with which Dwayne Cameron melts all these influences into a powerful and compact short film, turning his own project into an opportunity to celebrate his masters, saves the result from a simple epigonic exercise. In fact, any viewer is free to see in ‘JUNE’ what they want: either an excellent poetic cinematic experience or a touching declaration of love brought to some essential filmmakers. We preferred to see both dimensions of this short film and enjoy that intense glimpse of beauty that Dwayne Cameron shared with us.