Short Film Review “The Velvet Abstract”



First, the Recap:

Neglected. Forsaken. Derelict. Words we shouldn’t desire to hear when it comes to the responsibilities we have in our own day to day lives, much less in the grand scope of those we call friends and family, the country we name as our foundation, the world we so much long to connect with, and the planet called Earth we claim as our home. Yet, all around us we watch as the ramifications of our choices, so often self-centered and apathetic, allow for the deterioration of this beloved Earth and all that has been provided on it for us to enjoy, treasure, and leave for future generations to maintain after we’re gone.

Yet, we march on in spite of the more than evident signs all around us that we’ve utterly abandoned any sense of reason when it comes to at least making efforts to cherish the creation around us, no longer marveling at its wonder, but rather swamped in the digital age, information overload, and a newly formed desensitization to the plights and sufferings occurring under our noses. What does it say about us as the beings we were created to be, so greatly losing sight of God and His wisdom, replacing it with contempt for our fellow humans, only wanting results, swift and in our favor, while actually ignoring the deeper-seeded, soul-impacting issues we need to face. We’ve lost ourselves, and in doing so, beyond what is within the natural courses that ages passing brings, we’ve lost our home.

Next, my Mind:

With regal voiceover narration by well-respected British actor Tobias Menzies, sweeping, impactful animated visual presentation, a beautifully swelling orchestral music score, and a message that, regardless of what your overall opinion is about the environmental movement, is undeniably soul-stirring and relevant when looking at the conditions this planet is weathering, writer/director/executive producer/cinematographer James Hughes’ short film effort more than carries the weight of its substance with acute poignancy. The ways we’ve taken elements of this planet and fully ruined them is a sobering reminder this narrative chooses to tackle via the documentary-style delivery given here and carried off with a gut punch manner that will leave an impression on you one way or the other.

At minimum, it elicits taking a good hard look at the concepts made known, perhaps giving the viewer pause to determine exactly how pertinent the themes are, much less their reality when we step back from thinking about nothing but ourselves and accept we’ve totally lost our path in so many, honestly, blatant ways when it comes to how we treat each other, much less this wonderful world we inhabit. While based on this reviewer’s own personal beliefs I don’t believe God has turned His back, I fully agree how greatly it must sadden him and the Heavenly host when seeing how far we’ve strayed and forgotten those baseline Commandments that establish the fabric of so much, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, much less the abuse of this amazing orb.

Menzies very much makes this effort even more worth watching, as his deep voice, filled with a genuine conviction and poise, accompanies the lush, affecting, and uniquely varying animation helping to make the film’s myriad of thematic intention carry the weight they’re intended to. The purposeful coloration that finds its commonality throughout the project, purple velvet in this case, suitably remains to remind the viewer of its representing the stain on this planet our inactions, irresponsibility, and languor have brought about, which as previously stated, keeps the message consistently clear and in the forefront. What else stands out is the fact this film was produced on six continents with talent associated with efforts such as “The Hunger Games”, “Avatar”, “Game of Thrones”, “Star Wars”, and “The Martian” to name a few. The colorful sequences flow by with clear precision and artistic integrity, each instance showcasing its intended point with targeted objectives for best influence on the viewer.

Add in the totally engaging music score from world-renowned composer Jean-Pascal Beintus and this ends up feeling like the magnitude of a feature film rather than the oh-so-brief effort it is in actuality. It’s all surreal and eclectic sure, but, isn’t that what makes independent cinema what it is at times?  In total, “The Velvet Abstract” is a highly noteworthy effort that carries its environmentally-centric aspirations on its sleeve, perhaps in order to dare the viewer to put aside their initial judgements of the movement, and instead embrace the admittedly hard-to-swallow truths that are portrayed here.  At least we can count on the aliens to come and take us home, right?

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!


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