Its up to you on this one.
Kevin Margo’s debut short film Grounded follows an astronaut whose journey through space and life ends on an exosolar planet. Locked within an infinity loop the character experiences several outcomes, which provides the platform for Margo to present an amalgam of themes.
This metaphorical science fiction piece tackles the same themes present within 2001: A Space Odyssey, Moon and Groundhog Day, but unlike these narrative films Grounded is a much more subjective experience, underpinned by a lucid structure and heavily reliant on individual interpretation.
The immediate problem for the ambitious director is that he aspires for something he can’t realistically achieve. Where Duncan Jones, Stanley Kubrick and Harold Ramis each used feature length narratives to explore similar notions of ageing inheritance, cyclical trajectories and behaviours passed on through generations – Margo is restricted to an eight minute runtime and is therefore unable to fully investigate. Unfortunately this over ambition will leave many questioning whether the authorial sentiment of ‘inviting unique interpretation’ is little more than a cop-out.
However, Grounded does contain one poignant sequence which depicts an old man planting grass seeds in a dusty plain. Perhaps inspired by the ancient Greek proverb “a society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in”, this intelligent scene combines the ideas of ageing and inheritance presenting its thoughts on creating a new world.
Regardless of the director’s over ambition, Grounded remains a feast for the eyes – but that’s not really surprising. Margo currently works as the visual effects Supervisor at Blur Studio and his previous projects include an impressive list of video games and most recently The Amazing Spider-Man. He crafts stunning locations that provide the ethereal backdrop for the metaphors and immaculate slow motion sequences.
It’s not the groundbreaking short its creator set out to achieve, but due to its glorious aesthetic and unique approach it’s well worth a watch.
The film is available to watch on Vimeo: Grounded