856. The Ark – Grzegorz Jonkajtys

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SUMMARY: When an unidentified virus begins to wipe out humanity, the few survivors escape on big ships. However, one man begins to suspect he has not escaped the virus at all.

WHY IT’S HERE: Grzegorz Jonkajtys, known for his visual effects work on such big films as ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ and Pan’s Labyrinth’, has made a truly resonant and intelligent short film in ‘The Ark’, an examination of one man’s mindset as he faces impending death. ‘The Ark’ begins as a claustrophobic sci-fi and works its way up to a twist which I initially found hackneyed and disappointing. This was my mistake however, since further consideration of the film in view of what we see at the end reveals it to be an acute, sensitive allegory filled with thematic nuances. The look of ‘The Ark’ is strange, with ugly, angular characters populating an imposingly grey world. This works well with the subject matter, although the main character does look distractingly like Spock! For the most part ‘The Ark’ feels very enclosed, with much of the action taking place in the protagonists cabin, but when it begins to open out in the second half it somehow feels even more self-contained, a contradiction that makes more sense once the revelation arrives.

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