Stephen Simmons (director)
27 August 2021 (released)
11 September 2021
The Parker Sessions is a very troubling bleak, black and white two hander between shrink Robert (Danny James) and Parker (Rachell Sean). Broken into four acts it starts with the usual introduction though lines are drawn as Robert takes exception to being called Rob and Parker is clearly looking to gain the upper hand albeit looking for help for her problems.
Stiff exchanges result in background developing through flashback and dreams as they try to get to grip with what is causing Parker’s night terrors. What develops is a fractured power struggle with Robert seemingly disinterested continually doodling while Parker goads him with her observations and accounts.
The setting and direction are sparse with shots of the pair facing each other mixed with extreme close-up breaking things up. it’s set up as duel of quick minds that have something to hide and which the viewer is invited to try and work out as there are clues. Not that this is a whodunnit in the classic sense as Stephen Simmons writes and directs what could have been a very claustrophobic film that relies on the actors not looking constrained.
In fact they appear quite natural in a virtually one set film - there are few excursions beyond the confines of the room - that could have looked stagey. As such there’s not much in the way of empathy for either until the end when there can only be one conclusion for the viewer. This is a film well worth checking out.