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quietearth [Celluloid 01.06.08] review short scifi

Year: 2007
Release date: Unknown
Director: Martin Gauvreau
Writer: Martin Gauvreau
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: quietearth
Rating: 7 out of 10

I originally stumbled onto this while searching around a local film festival, and after checking out his website, I immediately knew that I had found someone with some serious talent who's career was just getting started. Martin has produced a couple of other shorts (which I'm still dying to see) and a video for MTV, but this one has run the gamut from top-notch to unattended film festival, and won 10 awards in the process. I think Martin used this as a sort of science fiction laboratory, an engine for his works to come.

Set in Poland, "A dark symphony of 2039" is more then an apt tagline for this experimental short. Boasting stunning grey city vistas, gorgeous women, sweet cgi, and some sort of pagan god, the eye candy is quite dense for a mere 12 minutes. Throw down a fitting techno soundtrack, an impending apocalypse, and an oblique storyline and you finish up with something you'll love, but want to see again to figure out what the heck it means.

Our main character, Agnieszka (a common Polish name) is wandering through the city and finds a small black cube in an alleyway. She heads home to her girlfriend and leaves it there, and continues wandering the city. At some point during a fight the box gets knocked open, and after Agnieszka leaves, a synthetic spiked virus grows rapidly from the box, threatening to engulf the city. Now this is where it gets confusing, according to the synopsis the box is delivered to an angelic being who's fateful decision rests with the gods, which is why it needs multiple viewings. But I digress, it's a joy to figure out.

Poland has been known for it's morose aspects in both fiction and film, especially the solemn "End of Civilization" (O-bi, O-ba - Koniec cywilizacji), and the theme and setting of Agnieszka 2039 certainly continues that tradition. I thoroughly enjoyed this, and I know Martin is planning on a sequel which might be full blown post apocalyptic! He also has a couple of features written, so let's hope we get to see more of his work, sooner rather then later.

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