You’ve been invited to Septopus.
Yes, I didn’t know what it meant either. That’s what I liked best about it too.
Didn’t care to know really. I was invited to see it, (do it? use it??) 5 weeks in advance. Assuming it was going to take place a on a dull weekday evening in the distant future, I had no problem saying ‘I do’ to something so random.
Me: When are we going to Septocon again?
Inviter: Its called Septopus and it’ s in 4 weeks.
Me: Oh yah. Cool. Can’t wait. I’ll pencil it in now…
I love ambiguous invitations. They can be amazing, spectacular soirées where you’re dazzled by everything and you wish the night would never end. Or, more commonly, they can be dry, numbingly boring, and in worst cases – confusing too (am I supposed to laugh or cry at this?). An event so horrible you stay just long enough to be seen and then discretely slip out the back door, hopefully to a better backup party (a backup plan is a social must). I couldn’t decide what I wanted ‘ol Septo to be. Good times are good but no one wants to hear about them. Bad experiences, on the other hand, give way to the best stories, tales and yarns. So a good event would be great but a bad event would be even better.
Checking out the invite and the corresponding details, the event was looking like it was leaning towards the latter.
The Facebook invite even touted these phrases:
“Venture into the morbid heart of the Downtown Eastside for a night of STEAMPUNK REVELRY”
“Wear a Steampunk costume!”
“Wrestle the fabled GIANT ROBOT SQUID!”
“Witness wonders of a past that never was and a future that will never be!”
I loved it! This could either be creative genius or the most mismatched attempt at an original party the likes of which have never been seen. The difference between a stellar affair and a crash & burn mess. A fine line really and oh how I love a fine line.
The inviter, however, was not amused. She was going to this short film screening (oh is THAT what this is?) and was taking me along to support her friend who was putting on the whole show. This wasn’t for me to wish and pray for anarchy (oh how I wished and prayed). She wanted him to do well and for the short film screening to be a huge success. Well so did I of course…but good or bad, there’s always a story to tell. It’s just so much easier to write about it when it’s bad. Like really bad. Like oh my goodness I can’t believe you made me go to this bad. I giggled to myself in anticipation.
Me (a few weeks later): When’s Spartacus again? I need to update my calendar.
Inviter: It’s called Septopus and it’s next Saturday night
What is Septocus Septopus:
On a sun-dappled summer day a science expedition propels two children towards an enigmatic encounter at the edge of their known world.
The Anachronism is an award-winning steampunk short film.
What? This thing takes place on a Saturday night? This I didn’t know. Septopus presents The Anachronism sounded hit or miss as is. To find out now that it also takes place during prime weekend hours was a shock (guess I should’ve read the contract before I signed on the dotted line). I’ll happily toss away a Monday or a Wednesday evening in support of the arts. Even throw in a Sunday morning or a Thursday afternoon too but a Saturday night? This was no longer a joking matter. This was serious. This event needed to be amazingly good or horribly, tragically bad. Anything in between would be unforgivable. My friend’s good status with me was on the line here.
As we trekked over to Septopus, my mind tingled with the same morbid curiosity people have when driving by accidents on the highway. You know you don’t want to see anything bad, but at the same time you just have to know.
The screening was taking place in an art gallery and as we arrived early, we took a walk around to admire the, uh, ‘art’.
Having never really seen a short film before, I didn’t really feel qualified to critique it. Luckily, that’s never stopped me before and certainly wasn’t going to stop me now:
The Anachronism – The Review
Acting – You can always tell the acting is bad when it’s bad. In this case, it was great! It starred mostly child actors, so bad acting would have been expected. However the characters were sweet and believable and it was fun to follow them along on their journey.
Scenery/Cinematography – Some scenes dragged on a little and I question whether the camera had to stay on some images as long as it did.
Story line – Intrigued from the start. A 15-minute film has to capture your attention and draw you in and it certainly does. It ended too soon and left the audience wanting more. That’s a pretty good way to end a film.
After the short film aired the director announced there would be a graphic novel/comic to carry the story on as well as another graphic novel that would act as an origins story and detail how the characters came to be. I can’t say too much without giving away a lot of the movie but the ‘origins’ idea could be another movie in and of itself.
Bottom line: Creative genius. The costumes, the décor, the preceding puppet show, the giant robot squid (they weren’t lying), the atmosphere, the party goers and the crazy surrounding artwork in the gallery all served well to increase anticipation and set the mood.
So in the end, the movie screening, the puppet show and the atmosphere (people and décor) were all well done. It was a captivating and original show and my expectations for a spectacularly horrendous and unbearable time were never met.
Oh well. Maybe next time. 😉