December 5, 2017

Last Day on Earth: 15 Minutes of Fame

If you found it today was your last day on Earth, whatever you chose to do, you can bet it would probably feel like it was over too quickly. And in Ko SangJin's short scifi pic Last Day on Earth, the action lasts a mere seventeen minutes. What happens in that short stretch of time? Quite a bit. A young man (Adam Maurer) returns from the dead to persuade an old scientist (Kim Kiedrowski) to bury science likely to be destructive to mankind and instead go on a journey — alone — to another planet. Meanwhile, the messenger must pay a visit to his mother's grave and decide whether or not he wants to fall in love with a blonde women (Erica Pastore) who happens to be an extraterrestrial in disguise. That's a lot of plot to pack into a half-hour or less. Major futuristic blockbusters have been made with skimpier story-lines. Yet Ko hit alls his points quickly and clearly. He's not as interested in the drama of getting from point A to point B as he is in surfacing moral quandaries which he safely assumes his audience shares.

When does science for science's sake not make sense? If there's life after death, what's the point of our time on Earth? On this overcrowded planet of ours, should the old find a time to willingly exit to make space for the young? Is love something that happens just because or does it occur because we ask it to and let it? Is the pursuit of "gold" our primary undoing as human beings? And given that I'm reading Camus' "The Myth of Sisyphus," why wouldn't you commit suicide since we seem destined to cause each other pain?

I'll be the first to admit that I was more into the visual style than the scientific substance here as the references to Higgs boson went over my head while Reza Fakharieh's special effects and Kitanan Chewvej's cinematography were both unexpected treats. Am I too shallow to appreciate Last Day on Earth? I don't think so. Do you?

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