A soldier in an ornate mask

Filmed amid Iceland’s distinctive, lovely but eerie panorama and impressed by that nation’s folklore, The Rock of Ages creates a vivid fantasy world in simply over quarter-hour—full with a hapless protagonist you quickly notice you’re rooting in opposition to, and a pipe-smoking rock who not solely talks, however swears like a sailor.

Shared by Short of the Week, this story from writer-director Eron Sheean makes nice use of its pure setting blended with intelligent puppetry and a pair of fantastic performances: Tómas Lemarquis because the wild-eyed, fur-clad warrior, and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (who’s quickly to look on season two of Severance) because the gruff voice of the rock.

The Rock of Ages | Epic Fantasy a couple of Soldier on a Quest for Immortality

Here’s Sheean’s directorial statement, together with 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.”

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