Saturday 24 January 2015

Enhanced Cellphone of the Future (2013)

Director: Snehal Patel
Star: Andrea Bogart
This film was an official selection at the 10th annual International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival in Phoenix in 2014. Here's an index to my reviews of 2014 films.
Snehal Patel's faux commercial for a futuristic communicator implant must surely be the shortest film I've ever seen at the International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival. It might actually be long for a commercial, less than a minute in length even without any credits, which of course would be out of place in such a project. Without a title screen or any names whatsoever, it blips by so fast in a set of shorts that it would be easy for us to blink and miss it. For a little while, I wondered if it was the introduction to a longer short, like the faux commercial that introduces Angel Ruiz's Terminus, but no, it was the entire film and we'd moved on to the next one. Given the inherent restrictions that such a brief opportunity offers, it does wonderfully. It hits all the right notes: the utterly white background, the friendly narration, the slick and seamless effects as the only character we see moves through time, fashion and advancing technology all at once. We can believe this is 2025 AD and there's a lot crammed into this small space.

However, it's such a small space that there's inherently not as much here as there could be in something a lot longer. This is a commercial, pure and simple, without a storyline or any progression other than what it deliberately shows us as its point. Andrea Bogart is perfectly cast as the 'woman transcending time', as she's described in the credits on the film's Vimeo page, but she's doing the job of a model rather than an actress. The people who shine brightest here are the people who make models look great: Desiree Castro, in charge of wardrobe, and Kathryn Fernandez, who took care of the hair. Sure, there are video effects folk aiding them by allowing various model shoots to combine into one gorgeous segue, but it's always a face of a pretty girl that we watch on a commercial, so she can sucker us into the brand being advertised to us in the final shot. Here that's Andrea Bogart selling us the NoMoto E-36 Communicator Implant, with GPSx and Redtooth the neatly extrapolated extras. And at the end of the day, that's successfully all this is.

Enhanced Cell Phone of the Future can be watched for free on Vimeo.

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