Imagine the scene; a high class dinner party where the guests would make the royal family look common. Amongst all the chatter and laughter, the remains of an animal can been seen with pride of place in the centre of the table. But as we learn that this gathering’s mission is to eat one of every animal on Earth, we soon realise there is one ‘animal’ they have never eaten…yet.
And so begins The Cornucopia Club by Joseph Archer and Cathy Wippell. This short dark comedy leans heavily into its messages of activism, animal rights and Britain’s class system. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is done very well and the humour counter balances a quite heavy and poignant message. Beautifully shot and with some excellent dialogue, a strong foundation here is made triumphant by high quality acting. This is a short that has been done very well.
A lot has been packed into The Cornucopia Club‘s short run time. We are given hints to a long history of family pride and that the acts the club performs are part of some sort of ritual. Siblings turn on each other as an outsider is brought into the fold. Its also interesting to note that, when the final dish is revealed, there is no remorse or changing of heart. All of those in the club are extremely excited to sample the last meat.
And the eating of the final dish is a metaphor for the class system here in Britain, because of course the rich are not going to eat themselves. Indeed perhaps they don’t even see themselves as animals, because the final dish is, to them at least, inferior. This is where the party is crashed by some unwanted visitors, who take a very dim view of what the club does. The tables are turned, as the club’s members are held at knife point to make amends for their crimes.
The Cornucopia Club is the second short from Silicon Gothic, a new indie film company founded by Archer and Wippell. They have a mission statement to create films with socio-political messages in a sustainable way. Over 90 percent of the props and costumes for The Cornucopia Club were sourced second hand, as well as all ‘meat’ props being constructed of entirely vegan, edible ingredients. In our throw away society, this is a mission to be applauded.
Although I really enjoyed this short, my only criticism would be I felt it was missing more of a payoff. I wanted a little more from the climax to the film which, for me, felt like it ended about a minute too early. But despite this, The Cornucopia Club is a joy to look at, is intelligently written, boasts a high calibre of cast and should be commended for what is a dark and funny piece with important, well conveyed messages. I look forward to more to come from this team.
This is a short that will make you laugh, make you think and possibly pick up a salad bowl.
We’ll survive if we all just stick together!
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