Directed by: #SaschaKarner
Written by: Sascha Karner
SeaSapien Movie Review
A film noir short where the ocean is the sky from #filmmaker Sascha Karner, SeaSapien is a bold piece of cinema that struggles to stay afloat among its own ambition.
Starring Leigh Carr as an investigator looking into a mysterious boat that has fallen from the sky and landed in his town. His search finds himself face to face with a mermaid (or SeaSapien) whom he instantly falls in love with. Can he save her from the wretched looters who have absconded with her? And will he get to learn more about the world she is from?
Splash meets Chinatown with a touch of Percy Jackson, SeaSapien knows how to riff on its cinematic lineage. Karner seems determined to invest the audience in the film's stylistic enthusiasm rather than a fulfilling narrative. The limited running time coupled with the exhausting number of locations means that viewers will likely get the bends whilst trying to keep up with our resolute investigor-cum-narrator.
That being said, we are given plenty to chew on when it comes to imagination and action. The infusion of a black and white approach with a #fantasy storyline gives the short film a 1950s B-movie feel, where outlandish premises were the norm and audiences were compelled by the surreal crash landing on the everyday. It's a shame we don't get time to breathe during Karner's piece, as there seemed to be so much potential exploring left to do. Had we been given more time with the central character, his quest could have felt more engrossing.
There were some issues with the #filmmaking, in particular the sound. The narration was all over the place in terms of levels and Carr's voice didn't really carry the gravitas it needed. Likewise the plethora of settings being conveyed to the audience felt flimsy at times and robbed the scenes of their emotional depth. Such as the crane scene which could have been far more thrilling had the low-budget aesthetic not been so distracting. This is not always something within the filmmaker's control but to have included such a variety of locations on a limited budget and running time was, and ultimately left the short movie feeling breathless.
A fun dip in the water from Sascha Karner then, SeaSapien brought all the fun toys to the pool but stays in the shallow end and we get out before anyone has a chance to get even the slightest bit pruney.