Updated: Jul 12, 2020
Directed by: #JanSørup
Written by: #JanSørup
Vector is the scarily relevant, post-apocalyptic tale of one woman’s journey across a dystopian wasteland, as she uncovers the events leading up to a devastating apocalypse and her role in it. This is a well-constructed short-film debut from Director Jan Sørup (albeit one with its fair share of issues), which provides a chilling window into current affairs. The Covid-19 viral pandemic, the conspiracy theories surrounding it, and the troubles associated with the recent BLM protests are all observable here, even if not intentional.
Conspiracies, and riots, and a virus! Oh, my!
Starring Sørup’s real-life girlfriend (Maria Sørup - does fantastic work in a role which demands a lot of lone physical acting) as Maria Vakhrushev, a hacker – seemingly suffering from amnesia – and sole survivor of a catastrophic viral outbreak that has wiped out humanity. The dialogue-free narrative plays things pretty close to the chest throughout much of its 14-minute runtime, revealing its secrets steadily, and purposefully, through the use of newspaper stories, TV news reports and flashbacks. It’s an effective storytelling method, one that works on so many levels here. However, it does make it difficult for the viewer to connect emotionally with Maria: more should have been done to bring us into her world; to build empathy to her plight.
The film has a generally subpar visual fidelity (the film was shot using a Panasonic GH5), but, while a little too noticeable in places, it births an Omega Man like quality to the movie, and, with Michael Manky’s retrofitted, Romero era soundtrack, evoking the director’s early works, there’s a distinctly old-school ambience here that I really enjoyed. Sørup has paced and visually realised Maria’s trek across the barren Northern European wastelands extremely well - other than one noir-like scene and Bladerunner 2049 homage scene, which, while stunning to look at (and they are), do feel a little tagged on. It’s certainly atmospheric. The plot itself is up for contemplation: I couldn’t tell if I just couldn’t get my head around everything or if it was a little discursive in places. Either way, it definitely flutters around a bit, and what you’re able to get out of it will depend heavily from viewer to viewer.
Overall, I enjoyed my time exploring Sørup’s weirdly familiar, dystopian world. It has plenty of imperfections, for sure, but there’s also plenty to like here, particularly if, like me, you’re a fan of the post-apocalyptic films of the 60s and 70s. And while I couldn’t tell you exactly what had happened by the end, that uncertainty can, itself, be quite endearing: it makes us think; it makes us ponder, and really, that’s what all good sci-fi films should do.
Watch the official Movie Trailer below
You can read more about the creation and watch some behind-the-scenes stuff here.