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Saturday 17 October 2009

Dish Communication (2009)

Director: Shaun Wilson
Stars: Steven Jones and Rose Kokkoris
We're at Facility 34E on Mount Pleasant where they monitor radio signals from outer space as part of the SETI project. Speaking from a tech perspective this all looks very right, which is a rare joy: the kit is old and analogue in proper rackmounts with dangling cables and overplugged outlets and green text on black screens. There's nothing Microsoft here in the slightest. And while a technician tries to do his job, a cleaning lady buzzes round him getting in the way, like cleaning ladies do. I've been there, done that. The tech is Professor Quintaine and the cleaning lady is Rose and they're in love without apparently ever being able to tell each other.

This is a rare little creature. It's a short science fiction film without anything flashy, but at heart it's really a romance. Our two characters can't communicate with each other, even when ironically thrown together in a confined location dedicated to communication. And when things go horribly wrong, things then go blissfully right. This feels utterly perfect. It isn't flashy in the slightest because it shouldn't be. It doesn't overplay anything. It doesn't pretend to be anything it isn't. It's hard to think of a single thing that could be improved.

The actors are not great and they look completely unlike stars but they're real and they do precisely what they should. Steven Jones, who plays Quintaine, has only made one other film, a short mockumentary called Rufus about a vampire who goes on an internet date with a paraplegic girl because she's likely to be an easy feed. Rose Kokkoris has done nothing other than play Rose in this film. Director Shaun Wilson worked on Rufus and has made another film, Henry Finn, about delivering a dying wish. Tim Logan, who wrote this film also wrote that film. Obviously these people know each other well and I want to see both those other shorts. Soon.

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