Directed by Austin Collings & SR Cherry
Starring Brexit the Monkey,
Short Film Review by Chris Olson
Devoid of dialogue or a conventional narrative, abstract short film 2000AD is a Cine-Poem from filmmakers Austin Collings and SR Cherry, that screws together some classic cinematic moments, incoherent rage, and some pornographic snapshots, to create an uncomfortable viewing experience full to the brim with ideas bigger than its budget or scope.
Starring Brexit the Monkey (someone in a costume), a supposed amalgamation of post-separation anxiety, who fills the screen in a variety of outdoor locations, as well as some disturbingly dark close-up sequences. Moving from a field to a fun fair and then to an abandoned building, Brexit's aimless wandering gets interspersed with creative visuals that depict him in a more macabre setting, culminating in a dramatic increase in tension as his emotions get released. All to the sound of a scrapey score.
With references to Stanley Kubrick, Planet of the Apes, and the European Union, 2000AD was always going to be controversially divisive. On the one hand, audiences will find the short film's concept and themes monumentally difficult to connect with or care about. On the other, there is something remarkably frank about its approach, an honesty in filmmaking, that is not only topical but at times compelling. A particularly effective scene involves Brexit behind some wired construction fencing, where the person in the monkey suit rages with unbridled passion against the cage-like restriction around, perhaps a condemning metaphor? There was also a lovely moment using focus that preceded this that was visually impressive.
It was a shame that 2000AD didn't not manage to maintain a consistent tone of abstract intelligence. Instead, several jolting moments appear that instantly undermine any sense of gravitas being established. Such as Brexit attempting to shovel candy floss into its masked gob only to have it fail to get through the mask and hit the floor instead. Or some deep-staging and slow-motion experiments in the field which looked tragically amateur. Much like Brexit itself, 2000AD suffers from a lot of noise and clowning around without much intelligent thoroughness.
As ideas go, there have been worse abstract short films. The costume of Brexit the Monkey is fun, there are some really nice cinematic moments that pay homage to filmmaking legends, and the undercurrent of boiling rage that seeps in at times is enough to merit a watch.