Film - The Nostalgist

The Nostalgist

From last year's London Film Festival Steve Taylor-Bryant takes a look at short film The Nostalgist (with spoilers)...

Based on author Daniel H. Wilson's story of the same name, The Nostalgist is a stunningly visual short film from director Giacomo Cimini. In a world where you can change your surroundings with special eye and ear wear, ImmerSyst, we find Papa (Lambert Wilson - The Matrix Reloaded) and his son (Samuel Joslin - Paddington) playing chess in a rather posh looking Victorian style parlour and discussing sacrifice for the cause. Papa's vision starts to go and he knows his ImmerSyst is failing so he must venture outside to get them repaired. He states that his son must stay inside at all costs and leaves the residence, getting robbed on the way and losing his ImmerSyst headwear. Now stuck in the harsh dystopian reality that the city of Vanille actually is, Papa seeks out an underground dealer who can sell him new ImmerSyst although it haven't been cleared of its previous memory and the Militia turn up to kill Papa. The son, meanwhile, has ventured beyond his front door for the first time ever and tracks down Papa where he finally realises he is not a child but in actual fact a robot. He disperses the Militia and has a moment with Papa as he actually is before a program wipe takes him back to thinking he is just a boy.

This short film is a creation of filmmaking genius. The basic story by Daniel H. Wilson is as close to Philip K. Dick as you can get and still stay original, and Cimini has brought the tale to the screen with all the finesse of a huge Hollywood budget. Lambert Wilson as Papa drives the character elements of the adventure with all the quality you have come to expect from such a solid actor. The flicks between filtered scenes of nicety and the broken down neon mess that Vanille actually looks like are edited together in such a way that, even though you were expecting the plot twist when it happens, you are still left in awe.

Only 18 minutes long but what an 18 minutes. Whether the entire concept could be stretched to feature length without losing something is yet to be seen but Wilson's writing and Cimini's direction and vision would certainly make it worthwhile trying.

Image - BFI.