Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Shaman






Our next short film is called The Shaman.

The Shaman was written and directed by Marco Kalantari, whose credits mostly include a handful of his own short films--except for the notable time when he was a Props Assistant on Another Nine and a Half Weeks. I haven't seen any of his other shorts, which admittedly doesn't really mean anything, one thing I've learned after watching a ton of these genre short films is that there is always a buttload more of them out there... but I digress... Like I was saying, I haven't seen any of Mr. Kalantari's other short films, but I do know this one was pretty successful on the film festival circuit.

But does that really mean anything either? I guess we'll see...

Here's the synopsis: The dark year 2204, in a world that has seen 73 years of continuous war. Recently mankind re-discovered the arts of Shamanism. The Shaman’s school of thought believes that every person or object has a soul. During battle Shamans step over into the Netherworld to find and convert the souls of their enemies’ giant battle machines. This tactic enables a single man to overcome an invincibly seeming steel monster.
This is the story of Joshua, a Shaman, who is sent on a mission to convert the soul of a giant battle colossus. He does not yet know that the soul is prepared for his coming and that the deadly psychological soul-to-soul confrontation in the Netherworld will be on eye level.

Man, that is one awkwardly written synopsis...



Hmmm...

All in all, this was a pretty good looking film with a somewhat interesting sci-fi set-up. However, it works way too hard at trying to be complex, which lends itself not only to too much vague exposition that isn't nearly as clever, or as world-building dense, as it believes it to be, and instead just comes off like the mystical/magical version of later Star Trek television techno-babble. Once again, the awkwardness of the synopsis provides a bit of a window as to the film's quality.

Not that it was completely bad, or anything...

In fact, the Shaman was actually pretty cool at times. The action and effects were nice. It certainly looked great. The aesthetic was cool. The problem is, the film trips all over itself trying to build this deep mythology, and despite it's nearly twenty minute length, it just doesn't have the time, or space, or nearly enough meat on those particular bones to pull it off. And the worst part is, it didn't have to be like that. The film is a victim of it's own over-thinking.

But maybe that didn't put me off all that much. In the end, if you've got the time, I think The Shaman is worth checking out. It's kind of cool, it's kind of different, and it's pretty well done.

Check it out,
Jon


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