This is a robot you don't wanna cross: BLINKY TM
The Narrative category at the Vimeo Festival + Awards served as a frank reminder (or wakeup call for those who don’t know): some of the best film out there isn’t at the theatre. It’s not even on demand. It’s here, online. And best of all: it’s considerably shorter than anything even remotely feature length, which sits perfectly well with the current average attention span ability to sit still for more than 3-6 minutes!
The winning piece, BLINKY TM, was quite the head trip, melding drama, subtle touches of sci-fi and oh yeah, some horror to make a robot-with-a-heart-of-gold story with a major twist. The short is excellent in how, even though it doesn’t really work with anything new thematically – these are concepts dealt with in TERMINATOR or any number of other robot stories – here it’s done in such a skillful, unsettling and humorous way, it’s possible to simultaneously appreciate the influences and be taken along for BLINKY’s ride.
Another undeniably smart aspect of the short is how it suggests a whole futuristic world populated with robots, using only a (relatively) small budget; specific scenes are sufficient to get the point across. It’s also a delight to see Max Records, from the incredibly underrated WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, as the young boy who is the de facto owner and ‘boss’ of BLINKY the robot.
Made by Ruairi Robinson, you can glean the supremely twisted nature of the type of films he’d make from his profile on Vimeo, where he bills himself as “part man, part machine, part lizard, all cop, mostly ninja, partially deaf, surprisingly tangy, notoriously average height, genetically designed to kill, make movies.” Considering all of this, BLINKY TM does not disappoint.