I discovered this short through Cyberpunk Review a while ago and had been meaning to share it for sometime given its obvious genre relevance.
The writer, director and lead actor – Mehmet Can Koçak – describes P3rsp3ctiv3 (or Perspective if L33t isn’t your thing) as ‘a tribute to the cyberpunk genre’ and in this respect it may not be massively original, but thanks to the slick execution and strong social message it turns out to be rather more impressive than might be expected.
POV camera work is an idea that’s in danger of being worn out in mainstream cinema, but here its connection to the subject matter makes it perfect for the scenario, feeling integral rather than tacked on. It reminds me most prominently of Strange Days (1995) and the ‘squid’ technology it featured in the way the viewer is literally thrown into the world, but also in how a cynically realistic outlook is adopted on its application. Just as the internet is used by many in the pursuit of pornography, here the near limitless potential of a seamless VR experience is used/abused for virtual sex – no matter how advanced society becomes our base instincts still apply.
The visuals have a few nice nods too. There’s the usual industrial dystopia stylings on show but it’s offset by a few interesting touches; the simulation is run on a massively upgraded Commodore 64 – possibly in acknowledgement of cyberpunk’s birth decade or simply to give a scavenger aesthetic to the scenario – while the ending also shows that no matter how high tech a rig may be it will always be susceptible to the most common or unlikely of failings; be it a crash or cockroach.
As I’ve mentioned/raved on about, the focus of my graphic is considerations of how we humanise technology through our use of it. In this case Perspective supports the idea but not in positive way. In creating an idealised version of himself for the simulation the protagonist unwittingly creates a mirror which shows him up as something altogether more unpleasant than intended. If the technology here is humanised, it’s done so in the sense that it replicates our more troublesome sexual and violent urges.