Neon Dystopia has the honor of premiering the remarkable short film from director David Placer, Genesis. It’s neon-soaked aesthetic immediately pulled me into the world, no surprise there. The 80s-inspired synth score from Siddhartha Barnhoorn and Sound Design from Dave Walker complete the immersion. I can’t say that there is much real acting in this short from Natalia Herraiz (Girl) or Emilio Caparros (Motorist), but the minimalist approach that Placer uses to tell his story, with the aid of Photography Director Ana Ramos and Art Director Julian Lopez, make up for this in spades. That beings said, Caparros does an excellent job of showing emotion from his hands alone, which is worthy of note. Ghost in the Shell is an obvious influence on Genesis, but the ideas are applied in an original way leaving the grimy streets, cyborgs, and virtual reality as story elements and not simply fun references. The short was produced by David Delgado. Spoilers ahead, so check out the short itself before reading further.
My first time through, I didn’t quite grasp the story’s entirety because there is no dialogue and there is no exposition. As the Motorist watches a fellow cyborg (The Girl) below be attacked by street thugs, I expected this Night Driving Avenger to leap into action to save her. However, I was denied my vigilante tropes and instead, as the girl is beaten by the thugs she transfers her conciousness into the Motorist’s bike. From there, she guides the Motorist to her discarded shell. The Motorist then links with the Girl’s body, cyborg to cyborg, and communes with her in virtual reality. Here, they under go a synthesis and we witness the genesis of a new being that encompasses them both. For a story told in seven minutes, that is pretty deep.
I can’t say enough good things about this short, and would love to see more in this vein from Placer in the future.