EIFF18 Review – Souls Of Totality

Souls of Totality [rating=5]

Lady 18 and Guy 3 are members of a secret cult that believes if they die during a Solar Eclipse their souls will be taken to paradise. Although the cult is not their biggest secret – they are in love.

Directed by Richard Raymond and starring Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and Tom Cullen (Downton Abbey),‘Souls of Totality’ is a love story filmed around the real-life Great American Solar Eclipse from last year. Cinematographer Jaren Blaschke (The Witch) captures some truly beautiful shots throughout the film and high-risk too considering there were no cuts. The scenes were filmed in five minute continuous scenes in order to ensure every aspect of the eclipse on film was perfect, which is the first time this has been done in a narrative film.

I was deeply invested in the film throughout it’s eighteen minute run-time and had no idea where it was going until the minute it ended. Which I loved. Raymond keeps the viewer entirely in the dark right up until the end, so the suspense was high and I really couldn’t bring myself to look away. Tatiana Maslany and Tom Cullen are both fantastic in their roles as Lady 18 and Guy 3, with Tatiana stealing the show in the film’s more emotional and intense scenes.

I also have to give particular praise to the composer of the film’s score, Michael Dean Parson, who on his first film has crafted an intense and beautiful score. Parson has included repetitive drums in parts which are incorporated into the story both through Lady 18’s mind and in the score. Repetitive drumming is a part of Native American culture during a solar eclipse so I found the inclusion to be a very nice touch and one which increased intensity throughout.

I recommend you see ‘Souls of Totality’ when and where you can. It’s a fantastic film put spontaneously by a talented group of people during the eclipse and the end result is just impressive. It’s playing Edinburgh Film Festival this week during their Short Film strand and you can book tickets now.

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