A young boy (Grayson Sides), nameless, resides alone in a house in the middle of the woods. Unable to escape, as running in any direction only returns him home, the boy sits hopeless. That is, until he meets cosmonaut Yuri (Richard Manichello), who arrives talking about exploring the stars. As the boy questions the activity of chasing down stars based on light given off from a star that may’ve long since died, Yuri gives the boy a “star seed,” and tasks the boy with caring for it. If the boy grows his own star, perhaps it will remove the fear of chasing a light that could result in nothing.
Gleb Osatinski’s The House at the Edge of the Galaxy is the type of short film that inspires discussion and thought long after it ends. Interpretations will vary in almost every direction; what does the house represent, who is the boy, why a cosmonaut, etc? You can run in any number of ways with the narrative, but like the boy, you’re somehow going to find yourself back at the house.
The film is an allegorical exercise, and its ideas and themes are such that, while I have my own interpretations, I’m not going to share them here. I’d much rather you have the opportunity to come up with your own ideas, so I’m going to focus more on the technical. And if the narrative gets your mind spinning, the filmmaking offers equal stimulation.
Visually, the film is incredible. The cinematography is to be commended, and the compositional choices are exceptional. It’s a fine-looking film, to understate its achievement. It captures a feeling of both hope and time lost, while simultaneously offering up a sunny salvation just beyond. Which, knowing suns are stars, brings you right back into the “plant your own star” idea and… debating my own interpretations again.
The House at the Edge of the Galaxy is an exceptional, mentally stimulating short film experience. You and I could see this film multiple times and potentially come away with something different in each viewing, and that is to be applauded.
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