Smallman: A Film Review

I stumbled across Smallman: The World My Father Made while doing research for another post. I pressed play because it was a short film about my friend’s father. I know Richard Mark Rawlins as an artist. He’s also a great illustrator, and I am a big fan of his work.

As an aside, whenever he re-releases his meggie t-shirt, get it. Or keep an eye out for collaborations, they’ve been Mark Eastman by Richard Meggie bowties, and I think handbags, but I digress.

Smallman is a documentary film about Richard’s father John Ambrose Kenwyn Rawlins, also known as JK Rawlins. It probably helps to know that Richard is an artist when you start watching the film, but not significantly so.

This is a beautifully made 10 minute or so documentary, that profiles a key moment in JK’s life and the lasting impact it had on him. It also details his most usual talent as the maker of miniatures.

It’s a biography, and a love story. Richard’s wife Mariel is the film maker, but she lets the relationship between Richard and his father take centre stage. Richard is shown handling his father’s work, photographs and letters throughout. I remember thinking, how lucky they were to have so much of his stuff. When Richard talks about his father, he calls him ‘daddy’. It is one of the many authentic elements in this heavily stylised film.

Chantel Esdelle’s score is wonderfully old, and Englishy, in a way that’s it true to the person being profiled, and the time in which much of the action discussed takes place.

I give this a 4 out of 5 stars, and will watch this again.

I watched Smallman: The World My Father Made on, click here to watch it yourself

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