When you hear something like “mad scientist short film,” you’re instantly thinking of a stereotypical shock-haired old man screaming with glee while messing with metal equipment and live electricity. And there are certain elements of The Centrifuge Brain Project that actively recall that kind of productive insanity, but Dr. Nick Laslowicz, the founder and CEO of the Institute for Centrifugal Research (ICR), retains a calm and dignified demeanor, standing behind computational schematics rather than a Jacob’s Ladder and operating table.
In all honesty, one should visit the ICR website and watch the short film without knowing a single thing more than what I’ve already said. The Centrifuge Brain Project is the work of Hamburg, Germany digital artist/filmmaker Till Nowak, and it spent the better part of last year winning awards at festivals all over the world, most notably for Best Short Film in the Moscow International Film Festival. All right, it’s time for you to watch the video now. If you’re one of those people who hates watching something without knowing about it, a spoiler-free description will follow.
That was insane, right? Especially when that one thing did the one thing, and it was completely unexpected? That part was great!
Okay, so The Centrifuge Brain Project is a faux documentary starring Leslie Barany as ICR’s Chief Engineer, Dr. Laslowicz, who is determined to boost the human brain capacity with different forms of extreme amusement park rides. To me, this is one of the best examples of how organic CGI can feel when it isn’t being shoved in your face the entire time, and the actual ride footage is more exhilarating and frightening than 80 percent of the entire “found footage” film genre. All things told, this tale of maximum research is one of my favorite short films in recent memory. Show your friends, but tell them it’s real.