In the sci-fi short A Crimson Man, a young runaway boy named Wei (Maddox Henry) is searching for his father in a land torn apart by a long-running war between humans and sentient robots called "Crimson Men."
While on his quest, Wei encounters a robot he dubs "Red." Red (voiced by Daniel Clarkson) is scarred by years of battle and is fleeing from the war.
The young boy and hulking robot begrudgingly agree to join forces in order to escape their ravaged land. However, an encounter with the enemy sparks erratic behavior in Red, causing Wei to doubt if he can trust his mechanized companion.
Written and directed by filmmaker Mike Pappa, A Crimson Man is an impressive homage to classic sci-fi coming-of-age cinema which includes iconic films such as E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Flight Of The Navigator, and The Iron Giant.
Those films juxtapose the wonder-filled exuberance of youth against the fantastical to explore often very heavy themes including fear of abandonment and alienation.
In A Crimson Man, Pappa effectively uses his speculative narrative to probe the complex dynamics between parent and child, as well as the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The short film successfully transports viewers into its intriguing world by use of its visually arresting aesthetic that is a handsome mix of lush pastoral combined with the retro-stylings of steampunk.
Experience A Crimson Man here...
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