Moody, atmospheric, beautifully shot short with a rich aesthetic and high production value, but - despite a brainy set-up - not a lot to back it up. Feels more like a cerebral, conceptual music video, minus the song. 2.5
Academy Award nominated short is a quite novel calling card from director Tom Van Avermaet which will hopefully lead to further shorts or a feature. Matthias Schoenaerts captures lovelorn and sacrificing quite succinctly but its the scripts mix of science fiction and lost love that gives this top marks.
It starts off very well with an interesting conceit reminiscent of the better of Terry Gilliam and the production values are superb. Let down badly by the ending though, which is as implausible as it is cloying.
It creates a great atmosphere and some scenes are very inspiring and thought-provoking. I love the universe that the plot is put in, every single detail about the world in there fits in so well! The production design is superb! Interior, machines, everything is in its right place. The whole concept of a place where a high authority is commanding photographs to capture the beauty of the "art of dying" blew my mind!
It's hard not to like the steam-punk aesthetics and the beautiful scenery. Combined with the surreal, strangely sci-fi story, it makes for a fine watch. The opening scene is especially gripping and intriguing.
Though this is only a 20 minute film, it still manages to fit in so many emotions and stories. I would love to give it 5 stars, had it not been for the soundtrack, which, while it fits the film very well, it just isn't 100% there.