Neill Blomkamp's New Oats Studios Short "God" Is Funny, But Dark

Friday, 07 July 2017 - 1:25PM
Friday, 07 July 2017 - 1:25PM
Neill Blomkamp's New Oats Studios Short "God" Is Funny, But Dark
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Image credit: Oats Studios
Neill Blomkamp's clearly been having a lot of fun with his series of direct-to-internet short movies. The director of District 9 appears to be relishing the freedom of small, unconnected stories by providing very a different subject matter in each film. First we had Sigourney Weaver fighting an army of lizard oppressors in Rakka, a story that felt very much like it fits without Blomkamp's established oeuvre. Similarly, the next film to be released, Firebase, could easily be the pitch for a longer movie—one that's defined primarily by its Vietnam war setting.

While the previous two movies are longer, more complex, and very, very serious, God (also known as God: Serengeti if you go by the YouTube title) is, by comparison, a quick bit of light fun. Were it not for the short's clearly impressive budget, you could almost imagine this as a standard YouTube comedy sketch—it clocks in at a mere three minutes of runtime. Here it is:

This isn't to say that there's no depth to this short film. Blomkamp's gone in an almost Terry Pratchett-like direction here, taking the Creator of the universe and personifying him as a distracted God that doesn't have more than a passing interest in what his tiny humans get up to.

The message here, rather than one of race relations (as Blomkamp is so fond of), is that the idea of a noble, all-seeing, benevolent creator doesn't always fit with the calamities that befall mankind. It's a fairly common concept in modern culture to present God as less than perfect, and as Blomkamp builds on this tradition, he pokes a little fun at the idea of deities in general.

Blomkamp has recently spoken about his plans for the Oats Studio movies, suggesting that, if need be, he'll take the most popular of these films and flesh it out into a full movie pitch in order to spin some gold out of what is primarily a hobby project. God doesn't seem like it's one that Blomkamp is considering any larger plan for—with such a short runtime and simple premise, it's hard to imagine this becoming a full cinematic experience.

For a quick, snappy short, though, it does feel poignant—especially the last "gag" of the video, which presents audiences with a tangible feeling of sadness as we're left to contemplate just how important we really are in this big, wide universe that we call home.
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