Thursday, March 21, 2013

Flash Fiction Contest Final Week and see HENRi!

How are those flash stories shaping up? Tuesday, the 26th is the last day to get your entries in. Then the judging will be another two weeks. I'm anxious to see all of your great stories. I'm also very thankful that I won't have to judge them. Micah Joel will get them sans author names to give all of you an equal shot with no bias. I've long since stopped judging these things as I know too many of the people submitting entries. Fair is fair. See the last post for all the particulars and my story to set the mood.

I started another story on Saturday that will break the bonds of the flash limit. Though I didn't start out with that in mind, it will be the perfect prequel to one of my previous elephant stories. I'm back on my elephant kick.

I just watched a Kickstarter-funded short that won the Best Short at the New York Philip K. Dick Film Festival, Toronto After Dark Film Festival, and Maelstrom International Film Festival. HENRi reminded me of 2001, A Space Odyssey, David Brin's Practice Effect and Asimov's robot series. All good things.

A spaceship lives on after its crew have died. It has evolved and is lonely and craves human interaction. In an attempt to fill that need, it builds a robot to interact with, which, of course, is also "it", an extension of itself. The addition of the human brain that the ship has managed to preserve is a bit hokey, but they're not going for scientific authenticity here. It's a campy send-up to those flicks from the 70s and 80s that romanticized robots. For an Indie short, the special effects (a mixture of quarter-scale miniatures, retro in-camera effects, and computer animation) are, well, most effective. The music is decent, too. You can rent it for $1.99 or buy it for $2.99 and see what you think. I love it when I can promote a good Indie film and this one was superb. There is also a "making of" film available.

Dr. Calvin, the ship's dying captain (in a memory of the robot's), is played by Margot Kidder (Superman 1978). A human could not survive such solitude. The real question is, can a sentient robot fare any better? A robot can't even sleep part of the time. It is a rather tragic flick, but very well done. The cinematic shots and music make you care about the robot's heartache - believe that a robot can suffer from such a thing.

Here's the trailer:

HENRi from Eli Sasich on Vimeo.

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