Mind-Bending Short Films for the Sci-fi Enthusiast
There’s always a dearth of mind-bending, thought-provoking sci-fi movies. Most sci-fi movies tend to feature a great start, but as the story builds-up and the possibilities narrow down to a definite ending, the thrill is often lost. If Interstellar failed you after building up to a crescendo, you may check out some acclaimed indie projects – and much less commercial – movies like Primer and K-PAX. But you may run out of options sooner than you think. A good way to keep yourself busy while you await the next promising sci-fi blockbuster is by indulging in some of the best sci-fi short films.
Now, the best thing about short films is they have their own pace, and many extraneous details are often left out. And if the genre is sci-fi, the film will explore these specifics, adding up to the ambiance.
Now, the best thing about short films is they have their own pace, and many extraneous details are often left out. And if the genre is sci-fi, the film will explore these specifics, adding up to the ambiance. These could be impossibly logical turns of events leading to metaphysical experiences, or could just be the perfect color correction to give the movie a simplistic, raw and experimental feel.
Let’s consider the movie STOP for instance,a sci-fi thriller by Mikel J. Wisler, depicting a young scientist who conducts a simple experiment on time using cameras and wrist watches, until he finds himself in an incomprehensible sticky situation. The story builds up from a brief phone conversation which establishes the plot. From then on, it builds up slowly to an unexpected outcome, suggesting the extent one can go to, in order to arrest the progress of an otherwise uncontrollable cascade of events. The movie comes with a very raw, documentary feel enhanced with some well thought-out color correction and ambient BGM sweeps to perfectly complement the mood.
SEED by Tyson Wade Johnson is another futuristic sci-fi short film that suggests a promising apocalyptic end. Set in 2071, SEED is the story of a man on an isolated mission on one of the human colonies on a distant planet Gaia, in pursuit of rumors of the existence of a place he refers to at the end of the movie as “The Void”. With a gripping build-up and a subtle ending, the movie suggests possibilities of the existence of a hideous technology with the potential to unleash unimaginable horrors on the human civilization as a whole.
Mouse-X by Justin Tagg is another phenomenal short film, essentially a sci-fi thriller, inspired by The Matrix, The Third Man, and Primer, and a book called 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. Mouse-X by Justin Tagg is another phenomenal short film, essentially a sci-fi thriller, inspired by The Matrix, The Third Man, and Primer, and a book called 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. Now mentioning the story here would genuinely ruin the thrill of the movie, but it is one thought-provoking piece of cinema with a strong metaphor for an ending – a game of choice. [Spoiler Alert!]What would you do if you found out you are stuck in a continuous loop? That everything you’re experiencing has already happened before, but you simply keep trying different possibilities each time – hoping to reach a place you’ve never been before? But instead you find yourself going in circles! What if all your actions were predetermined? What if both, the first-person and the third-person, were the same – just a divided entity? How would you get out of such a loop? Is there even a way out? An uncomfortable set of questions explored in the brilliant Mouse-X. The movie is so gripping, you won’t even notice the absence of dialogues! The eerie, minimalist background score adds up to the anticipation.
Light, not-so-complex, and yet unfailingly engrossing would be Mis-Drop, A Darwinian Future, Vacuity, SYNC, and The Beacon, which can be watched more for entertainment than to quench your curiosity. There’s always more coming in each month by indie filmmakers, so you may rarely run out of options. As for the upcoming sci-fi projects of 2015, let’s anticipate the feature version of Mouse-X and one more short film by Justin Tagg, filming of which is set to take place in summer 2015.
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