Here at Screen Rant, we spend most of our time talking about big movies like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. But for every billion-dollar action franchise, there are thousands of independent films that fly under the radar. And as many indie film fans will tell you, that's where a lot of real talent is found. Talent like Mike Eisenberg, director of the short film Stitches.
Many Screen Rant readers will already be familiar with Eisenberg's work from his video contributions to our site (including his now famous Inception-Toy Story 3 mash-up, which has nearly 4 million views on YouTube). With Stitches, however, Eisenberg has crafted something original - a powerful short film about the connections between family, baseball... and death.
Stitches centers around Sam, a 13-year-old boy who idolizes his grandfather and shares his passion for baseball. When his grandfather passes away suddenly, Sam must come to terms with the loss.
It's a simple story, but one that is universal. Everyone has lost, or will lose, someone close to them. But no two people deal with that loss in quite the same way - and that's what makes Stitches so compelling.
In addition to directing Stitches, Mike Eisenberg also edited the movie, which is based on the short story "No School Today" by John Mokhtarei. The screenplay for Stitches was co-written by Eisenberg and Mitch Koepp, who also acted as cinematographer.
The four main roles in the film, Sam (Steffan Argus), Grandpa (Art Fox), Tim (David Lowenthal), and Lynn (Rachel Sledd) are all well-cast. Argus and Fox, in particular, work well together, demonstrating in only a couple of short scenes the kind of bond that should (hopefully) be familiar to most people.
Visually, Koepp makes good use of the RED ONE MX digital camera, showing why it's a favorite of indie and professional filmmakers alike. Stitches also takes good advantage of multiple locations in suburban Chicago, giving the film a true-to-life quality that strengthens its emotional impact.
If I had to give one criticism of Stitches, I would say there are a few moments where the writing is a bit too on the nose. That said, there is so little dialogue throughout that it's not a significant issue. By and large, the actors communicate through body language and Eisenberg and Koepp do a good job of capturing that in the movie.
Check out Stitches for yourself below.
Stitches is a terrific, albeit bittersweet movie for Father's Day, as it reminds us of the important role that fathers and grandfathers play in our lives, and the reality that someday they won't be there to take care of us. So, if you're lucky enough to have your father or grandfather around, I encourage you to give them a hug, say "I love you," throw the baseball around, and watch Stitches.