Tuesday, August 25, 2015

From The Future With Love

Written and Directed by K-Michel Parandi, another in a long line of short film Directors that I've previously been unaware of, From The Future With Love has been floating around the Internet since around 2013 or so. I don't know if there's a ton of in-the-know short film fans out there reading this right now, but fair warning just in case.. You may have seen this one before.

Here's the synopsis: In a very familiar future, squads of privatized police officers from various corporations, walk the streets of New York and sell protection plans to citizens.

Ah, I see... what we've got here is a good old fashioned sci-fi commentary on the dangers of out-of-control corporations. A "very familiar future" is right... All right then, that's cool. Whatever, it's an oldie, yes, but it's still a goodie.

Let's watch...

Not bad. I liked this one.

Those cop costumes were pretty awesome. They were a little regressive in design, sure, not very reflective of extrapolations on current types of body armor, but there's nothing wrong with the classic future cop look. I especially liked the placement of the red and blue lights, that was pretty clever. Having the computer say out loud what it's doing as it's doing it is always a bit of a heavy-handed choice, something that they avoid nicely in some parts of the film, so it's a little jarring in the other parts where they do not.

I mean, why show information scrolling across screens in most of the film, but not this one part?

Weird choice. Maybe it was added after a Test Screening...

I also liked the idea of different private police forces having their own areas, and living a daily reality of jealously guarded turf and bloody competitions for New Clients. That was cool. Actually, I really liked the world building in general in this film. It was good looking and interesting, but most all, a lot of it was just shown as the film's reality, and I really like that approach. I appreciate them ditching the usual laborious and unnatural (both in fiction and in reality) dialogue explaining "the state of things" to a character that supposedly lives that reality every day, for the most part. They do do it a little in this film, which is disappointing, and like always, it comes off as awkward. I mean, how often do you find yourself explaining to someone why you're putting gas in a car?

Hint: Never.

Of course, this approach can bite you in the ass a little sometimes, like when it came to the whole Robot cat/Goggle guy/Body hi-jack scene... I mean, I understood what was happening, but why was it happening? It wasn't a big failing or anything, but maybe the scene could've used a little more context, Either way, I firmly believe that en media res is always the preferable route, rather than spoon-feeding explanations to the audience. That just slows things down. Keep up or get left behind, that's how I like my fiction. Let me be smart while watching it. Letting me figure shit out as it's happening, giving me a glimpse of the story's greater world, this is a rewarding experience as a viewer/reader. This is why people love lines like "I've seen attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion," it fires the imagination. That's what they've done here, and I really enjoyed that.

So yeah... in the end, sure, there really wasn't a whole lot going on here that could be called a new idea, especially not when it came to any hints of a social allegory. It also didn't have a lot going on when it came to character or narrative arcs, either... BUT... it was well done and it looked good, and it was kind of interesting, so...

Thumbs up, 

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