Crystal is the very first film I’ve seen for the HIFF. It’s a charming little short that instantly appealed to my geeky tech side. I’m assuming you’ve already seen it: if not, watch it at GoEggit absolutely free.
Once you’re done, watch the other shorts and vote for your favorite at the HIFF website. Voting over!
As stated before, Crystal had an immediate and pleasant, if not nostalgic, appeal to me. The very first scene had me smiling as the protagonist shambled down the gray, concrete halls of his pixelated world, carefully stepping over the wires of others mindlessly trapped like him. I could have sworn I heard him say “braaaiiinns”, but I had to remind myself this was not a zombie film; I could put down my shotgun. The one scene where he accidentally “unplugs” a girl struck me as a clear reference to what happens when those addicted to technology attempt to disconnect from it. I ashamedly admit that this used to happen with me sometimes.
I found it highly appropriate that his goddess and goal, Crystal, was enjoying life in a vibrant, widescreen television in all its high definition glory, in stark contrast to the dilapidated apartment complex the protagonist resided in. As the protagonist gazed at her, I could see the longing he had for her and her way of life. What geek wouldn’t feel awe and desire after looking upon a better, newer technology? I would certainly feel that way if I were in his shoes.
The short’s upbeat ending seemed to emphasize the importance of “trying” when you have a goal in sight. The protagonist musters up courage and takes the risk of unplugging himself, despite the pain he would feel while disconnected. As he runs to Crystal, he starts to dissolve into a skeletal “white noise”. Luckily (or through his own perseverance), he reaches her in the nick of time, assuring himself a happily ever after. If more people simply “tried” in real life, I’m sure we’d hear of more success stories in the media.
All in all, this was a fantastic first film to watch.
If Crystal is any indicator of how much I will enjoy this festival, then I already consider HIFF an astounding success.