Directed by: #CameronCurrin
Written by: #CameronCurrin
The science fiction genre has always served us with fictional reimaginings of scientific or technological advances and major environmental and social changes. And, with Infinitus, writer/director Cameron Currin utilises the genre to its fullest potential. In the form of a 10-minute extended commentary on climate change and mankind’s, frankly baffling, self-destructive nature.
We join the film as the earth is in the throes of an environmental disaster. Humanity has, in a kind of twisted incarnation of our harnessing of solar energy, harvested and exhausted the power of our nearest star—the sun. But of course, mankind realised too late that the damage they had done had become irreversible. And eventually, the surface of the earth began to freeze over, causing almost all life to die out and forcing people to seek shelter in underground facilities - searching for a solution to a very man-made crisis.
We see the result of this crisis from the perspective of survivor and astronaut, Rachel. A persistently strong performance from Chelsea Murphy, and one that channels Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley. In fact, much of this movie takes inspiration from Ridley Scott’s seminal work on Alien: from the retro-fitted aesthetics and atmospheric sound design, right through to the heavy reliance on old-school practical special effects. This isn’t a bad thing by any means, and the film benefits from some fantastic production design, which teases a reality the viewer will be dying to explore.
It’s a shame then that, due to the nature of short films, this doesn’t happen. The world is beautifully set up, but that’s as far as we ever get. And it’s the same story with Murphy’s character. Rachel is an intriguing figure, but we need to know more about her and her background with John (Paul D. Morgan) and Aurora (Alizé Lee) – who only ever appears in a photograph – to really empathise with them or their actions. And we simply don’t. This is my only real problem here. It’s that all this excellent work by, very obviously, incredibly talented people ultimately feels like it doesn’t go anywhere. Or at least doesn't go far enough.
Infinitus, perhaps more than any other movie I’ve had the pleasure to review, is a film which desperately cries out for a feature-length adaptation. It’s a superbly ambitious short sci-fi film that’s profoundly pertinent to our time. And its finale could be that of hope (if you’re an optimist) or resignation (if you’re a pessimist). But it’s woefully held back by the restrictions of short film-making. Namely its the short running time stripping the film of any meaningful character development or emotional clout. However...Infinitus still works incredibly well thanks, chiefly, to its superb use of practical effects, stellar production design and strong central performances. It’d be great to see this becoming a proof-of-concept piece for a greatly expanded universe. And it’s one I’d be only too happy to explore.