The Lives of Hamilton Fish
Directed by: Rachel Mason
Who, exactly, is Hamilton Fish? A celebrated politician? A notorious serial killer, with a grisly string of child-murders to his name? The answer is both. Though born under the same name, these two men have led markedly different lives. Their paths cross for the first time on the pages of the Evening Star newspaper when, ironically enough, they perish within a day of each other. It is left to the Star’s intrepid Editor to unravel the strange twists of fate and implausible coincidences that connect the two. The Editor is, in fact, the breakout performance in this uniquely eerie musical. Rachel Mason, who performs the part, is also the director and writer for this hour-long musical, and single-handedly performs the entire soundtrack. The efforts of Theodore Bouloukos and Bill Weeden, who strive to sync their delivery with Mason’s otherworldly lyrics, are nothing short of heroic. The film is, from start to finish, a celebration of the power of visual storytelling. Its characters resemble Picasso paintings brought to life complemented by an array of surreal imagery that is entirely in tune with the absurd and bizarre narrative Mason explores. Atmospheric, dreamlike, and often nightmarish, this musical is sure to be a memorable experience, even for those who detest musicals.