(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)
Independent Melbourne film-maker Jesse O'Brien has created an amazing 10-minute sci-fi film called Arrowhead: Signal.
Set on the distant desert planet of Arrowhead, it follows protagonist Kye, who's been left behind, alone, after a hostage mission went wrong. But he's not as alone as he seems; something else is on Arrowhead with him, a symbiotic alien life form that is about to get into his bloodstream.
It's Jekyll and Hyde meets Robinson Crusoe. The Incredible Hulk in the distant stars. A bullets-and-sand adventure that will introduce pulp science fiction to the cerebral, character-based intimacy of independent cinema.
Arrowhead: Signal documents Kye's first encounter with the life form, and it's jaw-droppingly good, with the vast desert vistas and even vaster skies creating an achingly poignant feeling of isolation as Kye goes about his day-to-day routine. It reminds us of nothing so much as Duncan Jones' brilliant Moon starring Sam Rockwell. And maybe a bit of 1956's Forbidden Planet.
But it's just a taste. O'Brien hopes to expand the film into a full feature, using crowd funding from Pozible, and, given the dearth of Australian science-fiction films, that's an ambition to be lauded.
O'Brien said of the film's background:
A few years ago, I had become frustrated with the state of genre cinema in Australia. With most of the films being made through the government funding agencies, where crew wages are set, it seems that only what little budget is left makes it onto the screen. So I had a big idea, one that was more ambitious than could be made through the traditional channels. My imagination got the better of me as I became captivated by this world that I had begun to create.
It really is a stunning bit of work. You can watch the video below, and visit the Arrowhead: Signal Pozible page for more information and to support O'Brien's endeavour.