I have great admiration for filmmakers who take risks to push the boundaries of history. Granted, I’m no expert in dance or performance art, but I was fascinated by Breton Tyner-Bryan’s ability to tell a story through movement in short film. Invicta .
It is important to know a little about the backstory. In New York City, among the mansions of Riverside Drive, seven mob brides from across the country reunite at the behest of an unknown blackmailer.
With a haunting score by Adrià Barbosa, our mafia women are located opposite the Riverside mansion. This gathering begins cordially, but quickly the daggers come out. Soon alliances are formed and broken, secret romances are revealed, and all lead to the ultimate betrayal.
“…seven mafia women from all over the country get together at the request of an unknown blackmailer.
Invicta features incredible performances from members of the Breton Follies—Sian Berman, Maya Kitiyama, Emily Ulrich, Savannah Crawford, Susan Olmos Sabel, Samara Steele and Tatiana Stewart. Each performer found their individual personality for their characters, but were unified when part of a group. Their thoughts, feelings, and dark motives were beautifully expressed in their movements and facial expressions.
I will split my review of the film itself between the narration and the performance of the cast. My main issue with the cinematography was using the handheld camera. It begins with a pan of the brides posed on the steps of the mansion, but the camera shakes as it descends. It’s a shot that had to be fluid. Additionally, the shaky camera almost fights with the performer’s movements at times.
Additionally, there are quick cuts where a performer’s emotions change instantly. I would have much preferred to see a natural transition from one emotion to another, as if I were seeing this performance live.
That said, Invicta beautifully captures the movements of the cast, especially against Barbosa’s score. Each performer’s strengths are on full display and I found myself completely jealous that I couldn’t move that way anymore.
Invicta ultimately manages to tell an engaging and intriguing story through music and movement.