From beginning to end, the new short film Azarkant does exactly what I want my spacey thrillers to do. It tells a clear story cloaked in ambiguity, features a man against a giant freakin’ robot, and doesn’t bog down pace with factoids and information. If I want to be inundated with needless plot matter, I’ll just watch some Hollywood sci-fi. How does “drifting” work again, Pacific Rim?
Filmmaker Andrey Klimov has created an intriguing CGI world that doesn’t even start to look like computer generated until the scene where a man fights a robot. Obviously Klimov didn’t actually film in space or anything, but it all still looks amazingly real. When you’re watching a film that has barely any dialogue, it helps when the images you’re looking at are taken to detailed extremes.
The rather slight story is detailed more in the description than in the video itself. A team of astronauts goes out on an extended mission to a distant planet, but instead come upon the giant seemingly abandoned spaceship. Here’s how Klimov describes it:
A huge spaceship, lost at the edge of the universe. Within which everything is dead, and has sunk into oblivion. People have died and no one will tell you what happened here. Only the old robot, whose pilot is long dead, too, continues to patrol the lonely endless corridors and execute the last command of his pilot. But one day, the doors of the old space ships are now open …
It just so happens that the robot’s last command was “Destroy the Shit Out of Everything That Moves,” and since there probably aren’t any bugs up there, our new hero is just what the bot has been waiting for. Not that robots wait, but you get me.
The showdown isn’t the kinetic, explosion-filled nonsense that we’ve come to expect from big genre films, but is instead a quieter battle. Klimov’s direction leaves a deeper impression than any hulking murderous machines. The shot through the chain-link fencing as the astronaut is dragged up the wall is nothing short of gorgeous.
Another way the aesthetic plays an interesting part is in the look of the human’s uniform. The design is more like a character from Halo, rather than someone highly involved in the space race. It’s awesome that Klimov adds one of the dead crewmembers, so we’re given the stark contrast between NASA uniforms of old, and what they could look like in the future.
If you’d like to show this short as much love as I have, head over to the Azarkant Facebook page and pass on some kind words. Maybe in a few years, after Klimov has gone on to create the next great blockbuster, we can all talk about how we knew him when.