Short Film Sunday: Cockroach

Title: Cockroach

Directors: Will Sharpe, Tom Kingsley

Released: 2011

Length: 27 minutes

Will Sharpe is responsible for the recent channel 4 sitcom Flowers that aired on consecutive nights to strong reviews. I found Flowers to be right up there with The League of Gentlemen and Black Mirror in terms of jet black humour and touching poignancy. Sharpe wrote, directed and acted in Flowers, alongside Olivia Colman and Julian Barrett, and it was truly one of the most original comedy series of recent years.

Before getting his big break with Flowers, Sharpe acted in a number of TV shows including Casualty and Sherlock as well co-directing and starring in the short film Cockroach. Whilst Cockroach is low on action, it is thought provoking and beautifully filmed, with a great soundtrack. Sharpe is funny and likeable and the small budget never seems a hindrance for this Japanese comedy/fantasy.

Cockroach follows a week in the life of a bug exterminator who starts to receive cryptic messages seemingly from his deceased Granddad. As it goes on, it becomes clear that Cockroach is more about celebrating the every day quirks of normal life rather than any kind of overall message or meaning. Some viewers may find this lack of purpose frustrating but I found Cockroach to be an inventive and enjoyable short  film. I will definitely be looking out for Will Sharpe’s future work with interest.

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