Hollywood’s current aversion to risk and love of reboots hits no genre harder than that of science fiction. Wrapping brainless spectacle around a tiny kernel of science fictional speculation often results movies like Battleship…or even worse, the Total Recall remake. For all its camp and Verhoeven goofiness, the original Recall actually played with some very interesting ideas, such as how we know what is real. After all, science fiction is supposed to be the literature of ideas, and most modern blockbusters aren’t interested in saying anything more complex than “I bet you’d really like a bucket of popcorn, am I right?” Thankfully, technology has advanced to the point that the gap between budding filmmakers and their audience is narrower than ever, and as a result we’re getting a slew of ambitious and memorable science fiction short films. Case in point: a Swedish short called Memorize. Check it out:
Memorize was shot on a tight budget in Sweden, and was written and directed by Eric Ramberg and Jimmy Eriksson. And while there are a few rough patches (how did the cop survive the grenades exactly?), it’s overall a very impressive bit of SF fun, borrowing from genre flicks such as Minority Report and the original Total Recall. What sets it apart from many fan-made SF shorts is that, while it’s primarily a long action sequence, it is still positing a world and inherently making you think. What would a world be like where your every move is recorded? And of course in this world criminals would be the first to find out a way to beat the system.
I also have to give Ramberg and Eriksson a high five for really making use of their visual medium. The only lines spoken in the entire seven minutes is a brief comedic throwaway moment. But even without any dialogue, Memorize efficiently sets up the rules of the world, clarifies who these characters are, and manages to tell a nice, quick story. Nicely done.