A Chatty Rock Meets a Reckless Soldier in This Gory and Delightful Fantasy Short

A Chatty Rock Meets a Reckless Soldier in This Gory and Delightful Fantasy Short

Filmed amid Iceland’s distinctive, beautiful yet eerie landscape and inspired by that country’s folklore, The Rock of Ages creates a vivid fantasy world in just over 15 minutes — complete with a hapless protagonist you soon realise you’re rooting against, and a pipe-smoking rock who not only talks, but swears like a sailor.

Shared by Short of the Week, this tale from writer-director Eron Sheean makes great use of its natural setting blended with clever puppetry and a pair of excellent performances: Tómas Lemarquis as the wild-eyed, fur-clad warrior, and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (who’s soon to appear on season two of Severance) as the gruff voice of the rock.

Here’s Sheean’s directorial statement, including a wild mish-mash of inspirations: “The Rock of Ages is a surreal black comedy, a thought-provoking mutant love child of Jim Henson, Terry Gilliam, and Ingmar Bergman (if he were high on painkillers). It tells the story of a lost Soldier (Tómas Lemarquis) and his encounter with a cunning talking rock (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson) who promises him immortality. But as always with these bargains, there’s a catch. I was inspired to create a surreal fable that explores the hubris of humankind — both our fleeting existence in the face of nature, and our unwillingness to abide by its ancient rules.”

While you’re here, why not check out Gizmodo Australia’s guide to what’s streaming this month on Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Stan, Binge and more. We’ve also got one for all the good movies coming out in 2023 if that’s more your thing.

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