TV has long since fried his brain. Mr Loony now lives in a basement, spending his waking hours watching films and talking about them. To his imaginary friends. Hmm.
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Life as a basement dweller is hard at times, when one does not have movies to watch. Good movies are hard to come by these days and I have found myself deprived of entertainment quite often. What does one do in such a situation? I could read a book, but my attention span does not go beyond a few pages. I could run errands for the people who live upstairs but that would mean venturing out into the sunny expanses of the outside world. After years of living in the shadowy depths of my basement I suspect my skin has become accustomed to artificial lighting. I had to look elsewhere for entertainment, I realized, and I soon found myself watching short films.
The short film is a medium in itself. The connoisseur of short films needs a stronger quality filter than other film buffs because of the sheer number of amateur efforts produced by film school graduates. Gems are harder to come by.
ROSA, a one-man effort by Spanish animator Jesus Orellana is one such gem. The film follows Rosa, a cyborg who awakens in a post-apocalyptic future which has been stripped of all organic life. She is part of the Kernel Project, one of the many units deployed to rebuild nature in this lifeless world. Little does she know that there are others like her, and they might not all be on the same side.
Watch the trailer:
The quality of animation is stunning and it is hard to believe that this is the work of one animator who took a year to complete the project. The action choreography is impressive and the world is portrayed in incredible detail. In an interview, Jesus says that Hong Kong films have influenced him for the fight sequences, and the story and the look of the film have been inspired by anime films like Ghost in the Shell, and the sci-fi Hollywood classic Blade Runner. With such diverse influences, ROSA turns out to be a promising effort by an upcoming talent that has already gained critical acclaim at film festivals around the world. There is word that Hollywood studios are interested in the concept and a full length feature film might enter production soon.
This is not the first time that this has happened. The story of how South African born director Neill Blomkamp made District 9, arguably the best sci-fi film of 2009, is part of cinematic history now. Blomkamp made a series of short films with impressive special effects on an ultra low budget, including the famous Alive in Joburg, a six minute long short film that draws on the country’s apartheid problem to portray the cruel treatment of refugee aliens, stranded in our planet.
Watch Alive in Joburg
These shorts attracted the attention of director Peter Jackson who was so impressed by Blomkamp’s talent that he produced District 9, which is essentially a feature film adaptation of Alive in Joburg.
Watch the trailer of District 9