We’ve discussed common mistakes in short film before, but one of things that consistently concerns me is a lack of depth in subject/theme. Grief, depression, old-age, we’ve seen it all before, but where are the narratives tackling more topical themes?
The #MeToo movement rightly sparked an uprise of films focused on sexual assault and sexual harassment, but with Donald Trump continually claiming global warming is fake and the current US president and his administration intent on rolling back pro-environment policies from Obama’s presidency, why aren’t we seeing more films focused on climate change?
To be fair, it’s a huge subject to cover and you need to be pretty ambitious to tackle it in just five minutes, but that’s exactly what four students from GOBELINS, l’école de l’image have done with their grad film Thermostat 6.
Set in a household where a family gather to have dinner under a leaky roof, as the family continue with life under this rapidly worsening situation, we soon come to understand this surreal family drama is an allegory for something much broader and much more important.
“The different members of our family represent the different reactions of society”
“A family is a microcosm where different personalities and generations confront each other”, the GOBELINS team reveal in a press statement. “It was for us the ideal metaphor. So the different members of our family represent the different reactions of society to this current issue”
In case you were wondering: The House = the Earth, The Mother = Consumerism, The Father = the Consumer, The Grandfather = the Conservative Patriarch, the Young Son = Future Generations and the Daughter = the Citizen & Activist.
It makes for an unusual, but surprisingly affecting watch and as always with these Gobelins films, the aesthetic is on point, with the character design a standout element of the production.
However, for once with these student films, it’s the storyline that has the greatest impact. And as that final shot pans out to reveal life outside the house, as a viewer you can’t but help reflect on the greater message of the film and it’s pretty devastating!