Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Review: ROSA by Jesus Orellana
While many movies coming out from big studios - especially those that are CGI-heavy - can cost tens (or hundreds) of millions of dollars, there are always those films out there that prove that budget isn't everything. Case in point? ROSA, an animated short film by Spanish comic artist Jesus Orellana, created by himself over a year using Daz Studio and Blender. If you aren't familiar with Blender, it's a free open-source graphics software. It's responsible for a number of great short films like Elephant Dreams and Sintel. A full list can be found on their site.
But back to ROSA. The film, which clocks in at around ten minutes, revolves around a female cyborg who awakens into a desolate post-apocalyptic world...and soon finds out she's not as alone as she thought.
There's no voice acting in ROSA, but that isn't detrimental to the film, and in fact enhances it. The moody soundtrack and sound effects are more than enough to set the eerie atmosphere. It looks great as well, as good as - if not better - than a major motion picture release. The color palette is varied but muted enough to show the world as being dreary and dirtied. The animation is fantastic; there's a flurry of a fight and a chase scene, neither of which skip a beat, and metal, glass, blood, plants, and more are all rendered perfectly.
We're thrown into the middle of the story, and the lack of dialogue means not many questions are answered. Still, the emotional impact gets through to the viewer thanks to the fully-realized (if mysterious) characters. By the end of the film you'll no doubt be thinking about what you've just seen and, almost as importantly, what you didn't see: how did the world get to this point? Who is Rosa, and what's her purpose? Her adversary's? What happens next? The best films, I think, leave you asking questions and wanting more, and ROSA certainly delivers.
Interestingly enough, some of these questions might get answers. It's been reported that 20th Century Fox is heading up a live-action adaptation of ROSA. How the movie will fare, in a different format in a studio with more parties involved, is yet to be scene, but it certainly will be an adventure.
ROSA shows the strengths of small projects in which the creator has complete control, as well as the versatility of open-source tools such as Blender. Can a Hollywood equivalent match the original? Maybe, maybe not. But either way, you'll find yourself watching these ten minutes over and over again.
Watch ROSA on the official site, Vimeo, or YouTube.
Posted by Colin Lalley