Reviews

Shipwrecked Lily

KELSEA O'CONNOR

A few months ago, I saw the premiere of Shipwrecked Comedy’s newest project, a short film called The Case of the Gilded Lily, in Toronto. It was part of the Buffer Festival, Canada’s first YouTube film festival, which has evolved over its five-year life to be a creator-focussed event celebrating quality web content. Shipwrecked Comedy is a team of four Los Angeles-based creators producing high-quality historical literary web content on tiny, often Kickstarted, budgets. Their previous web series, Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party, was a hilarious Clue-style escapade featuring a cast of favourite literary figures—Charlotte Brontë, Ernest Hemingway and Oscar Wilde—trying to solve the murders of their dinner companions. Poe Party premiered in its entirety at the 216 Buffer Festival, and went on to garner 25, views on YouTube and multiple award nominations, including Best Indie Series at the 217 Streamys. The Case of the Gilded Lily (directed by William Joseph Stribling) is a classic noir mystery set in Old Hollywood: detective Ford Phillips (Sean Persaud) teams up with ace reporter Fig Wineshine (Sinead Persaud) to solve the blackmail case of starlet Wilhelmina Vanderjetski (Sarah Grace Hart). Along the way, Fig and Ford must navigate shifty Hollywood producers, demanding film stars and an incompetent rival detective to catch the crook literally red-handed. Punchy dialogue abounds, and Joey Richter steals the show as sleuth Dash Gunfire. Shipwrecked’s signature meta style is in full force with many quips that break the fourth wall, such as the film’s original musical number “Change of Scene” overlaying all the scene changes. The top-notch cast features some favourite YouTube comedy faces, including the aforementioned Joey Richter, Mary Kate Wiles of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries fame and Joanna Sotomura, another Pemberley Digital alumna. It was a delight to watch Gilded Lily at the historic Elgin Theatre, where the audience’s laughs and gasps created an experience that can’t be replicated in the solitude of one’s own bedroom. The Case of the Gilded Lily is smart and funny and it made me feel things; it is a prime example of web content that legitimizes YouTube as a home of high-quality entertainment. You can stream it free on YouTube as of February 218.

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KELSEA O'CONNOR

Kelsea O’Connor is contributing editor to Geist. She lives in New Westminster.


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