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11 January 2022

Above Ground

by Syd Briscoe

Karel Havlíček: “Above Ground” - 7 mins 22s

A lonesome astronaut stars in this intriguing promo for Czech composer Karel Havlicek's 'Above Ground'. The film rewards patient viewers, unspooling steadily over almost seven-and-a-half minutes as it cuts between the solitary figure's musings and his presence at a party populated by strange guests.

There's an interesting sense of magical realism at work here, as the purpose of the various face coverings (gas masks, hoods, intricate jewellery) goes unexplained. It's refreshing to have a new take on masks after two years of Covid.

Director Maxmilian Turek achieves an impressively balanced tone throughout the piece, wringing poignancy from his subject in spite of the film's slightly absurd edge of humour. This is tragi-comic and thought-provoking in equal measure, and will leave audiences with more questions than answers.

Cinematographer: Alexander Surkala

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