Life's a Show Review

by Eva Levy


The pandemic period was a real test for many people. It forced some to rethink their lives, others to change jobs. For some, it is a time of reflection on the future and the changes that are coming very shortly - changes that not everyone is prepared for... 


I was lucky enough to see a unique short film of its kind that made me think and look at life from a very different, unusual angle - Life's a Show. Even the great meter and brilliant writer William Shakespeare said, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." And in the centuries since, nothing has changed. 


The short film LIFE'S A SHOW follows actor Matt (Jon Tarcy), who finds himself out of work after the COVID-19 pandemic forces the cancellation of a play he was due to appear in, and desperately misses the sense of direction and gratification acting provides him. Taking this thought all too literally, he decides to hire a director to help guide him through his everyday life. Outlander fan-favorite Jon Tarcy plays the lead role in this film. Written and directed by Harvey Puttock.


"I'm delighted to have collaborated with Jon and the rest of the cast and crew on this lockdown project that casts a light-hearted light on how social isolation affected artists, creatives, and collaborators," said Harvey Puttock.


Coin Operated Films’s new short film LIFE’S A SHOW is to screen at Raindance Film Festival 2021 and will be available to watch online via Curzon Home Cinema throughout the duration of Raindance Film Festival, 27 October-6 November 2021.

In my opinion, this short picture is a bold and vivid image of how many people make decisions in their lives. Quite often, a person is not ready to accept responsibility for his life. More often than not, he shifts that commitment to his environment, family, friends, employers, or as the main character in the film did, to the director who must direct, invent, and script his life for each day.


This film makes us think about why one is not ready and willing to direct one's own life, think out one's own script and follow it. Otherwise, he will be forced to follow the script of other people all his life and do what others tell him to do. But the paradox is that then there is very little chance at all that the "main character in the film," that is, the person himself, will arrive at precisely the events and achievements that he aspires to, that he wants to achieve. After all, even Jon Tarcy's character was dissatisfied at some point with the audience that was watching him play. He changed the director and then the audience itself.


Unfortunately, life is not a movie. A man can't push one button, and in an instant, everything magically changes around him to the state of affairs he wants. There is no such magic button.  But the person can become a director himself, write his own script and follow it. After all, nothing is impossible. Life's a Show. The person can be just an actor in it, going by someone else's script, or he can be the director and screenwriter of his movie called "his life." There is always a choice.


I want to acknowledge Jon Tarcy's excellent acting, accompanied by a superb scripted short film that, in just 11 minutes, raises critically important questions about the post-pandemic era. 


The ending is unexpected, but it accurately reflects what we see daily with our own eyes. It is impossible to live in today's world without social networks. They have become an indispensable part of our lives and a necessary means of communicating with the rest of the world. However, they also carry a lot of dangers, so they deserve a separate conversation on the subject. 


LIFE'S A SHOW has already won awards at Monthly Indie Shorts and Accord Cine Fest. It will screen at film festivals internationally throughout 2021 and has been named a Kino London finalist.