Manchester Lift-Off 2017: Spaceman

Rupert Madurski is a young man with a dream. To become an astronaut and go into space. Except there is no manned space shuttle program anymore, and hasn’t been for some time. This does not dampen his spirits however, if anything it spurs him on to be the reason they bring back the program. In his mum’s garage we watch as he endures a ‘rigorous’ training regime of lunges and curls, in order to be ready the exact moment NASA requires him. It is for this reason that he, apparently 24 hours a day, dons several dubious looking jumpsuits, as he never knows when his time will come.

After filming his own training video, he somehow manages to convince Lucille, a school teacher, that he is indeed an astronaut in training and to let him speak to her students. Whilst some believe him, most, rightfully, do not. This leads to mockery when he tries to assert his ‘first-hand’ knowledge on a film set he again manages to blag his way into.

Spaceman

Scott Nelson is a revelation in this it seems, his first role of any kind in cinema. It would be a crying shame if this was his last venture into and I hope we see more of him soon. The opening scenes where we watch Rupert’s fantasies acted out before soberingly returning back to reality as his mum shouts him were hilarious. One of the more realistic portrayals of human fantasy seen in recent times.

There is a clear influence from Wes Anderson in several parts of the film. The art style of his fantasies, the jumpsuits he wears and fast paced dialogue are all reminiscent of Anderson. Spaceman is a highly original short but at just 18 minutes in length, it is just a little too short.

Directed by Christopher Oliva

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