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, 
Jon


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