YOUR LAST DAY ON EARTH **** Spain 2019 Dir: Marc Martinez Jordan. 13 mins
Shot in Academy ratio, this is an arresting, original, label-defying short film from the talented writer-director of the well-liked technophobic horror feature FRAMED (2017). The set-up is wonderfully offbeat : a young man (Enric Auquer) dressed as an Iberian fox and clutching an old-fashioned cinema-style ticket, prepares to take a $75,000 “Time Tour”, one that comes with three conditions (including that he must not remove his fox costume) and will allow him to revisit his dearly beloved (Karina Kolokolchykova) on her last day on Earth.
The film’s set up highlights the absurdity of Auquer’s plight, with a hilariously lo-fi depiction of time travel that involves a silly outfit, two pills and a comfy bed. The incidental details are cute – you can spot other “time tourists” because they are also dressed as a fox – but as the story evolves, the tone increasingly blends the throwaway surrealism with genuine pathos. The hero’s rekindled memories of all the tiny things he loved about his dead wife are genuinely moving and, balanced by the horrifying tragedy of her sudden death, give the film enormous heart. It also has a truly mental narrative that keeps on twisting en route to an unexpectedly beautiful conclusion.
Review by Steven West