Genre: Sci-fi | Country: Canada | 2018
Written and Directed by Kailey and Sam Spear
Performed by Jewel Saite, Audrey Wise Alvarez, Susan Hogan, Sharon Taylor
This year the fantastic and geeky Berlin Sci-Fi Filmfest took place for the second time in a row. There were short films, web series, documentaries, features and fan fiction. Common point: Science Fiction of course.
Over 130 films from 38 countries were screened. Discussion panels a. o. on A.I. and workshops for creatives and professionals were part of the program. Those two days of pure geekiness took place in the Babylon theatre.
The Grand Jury Award of the festival went to CC this year, a sci-fi short film exploring one aspect of the possible dilemma humanity could be facing with A.I.
An Artificially Intelligent Device named AIDCC28002025 (Jewel Saite), short: CC, has been leased by a Nanny Agency to Lena Howard (Sharon Taylor) to take care of her daughter, Adelaide (Audrey Wise Alvarez). The Cloverhill Agency investigates after a violent incident has occurred during CC’s assignment, the Cloverhill Agency investigates on the malfunction.
The cinematography of CC looks familiar when it comes to the topic of A.I. Super-slicked and warm-toned reminding of a Sci-Fi short like Zelos, series like Black Mirror (ep. USS Calister), or Ex-Machina by Alex Garland. However, I’m not a cinematographer, but it appears that the Spear sisters haven’t used an anamorphic lens to make their movie.
The nature of the character CC is introduced by a shot-reverse-shot. It’s a common film technique where one character is shown looking at another character, who is whether off-screen, or whom you can perceive a small portion of (back of the head for example), or from whom the point of view is represented. Meaning the audience sees through the eyes of one character. This is a particularly interesting technique when cinematographers and directors want to build tension and curiosity within a scene.
In the case of CC, the audience watch a kid talking to an adult getting her to sleep. CC’s true essence is revealed as the picture gets blurred and makes it unambiguously clear, that it’s not human.
In that, the Spear sisters demonstrated that they’re capable of telling a story within the esthetic frame of the genre. It’s high-quality and enjoyable to watch.
Lots of the credit belongs to Jewel Saite, who was brilliant portraying a cold-blooded Artificial Intelligence Device with a propensity to a relationship obsessive-compulsive disorder. It’s just not easy to play a machine without risking to suffer total ridicule. Saite was in control of her obsessive character and could stand very well the intrusive close-ups of the camera in between flashback scenes.
This doesn’t mean that the other main actresses, Audrey Wise Alvarez, and Saron Taylor couldn’t keep with Saite’s performance. On the contrary.
Even if the topic of the machine that has embraced her humanity and become mad in the process isn’t something new to science-fiction, CC has proved to be a well-rounded, professionally and entertainingly made short film, that is worth your time.
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