Friday, 5 June 2009

Steampunk Movie

Steampunks and Steampunkettes, afficionados of neo-Victorian visions of the future, alternative history enthusiasts will be all be aware of the place which such imaginings have within the wonderful world of the Silver Screen.

Mainstream blockbusters have increasingly taken on-board the visions of Steampunk, growing from a small beginning of independent movies such as the brilliant Perfect Creature and Steamboy to inclusion in Hellboy 2: The Golden Army , to full-blown inspired movies such as Wild Wild West and The Golden Compass and City of Ember and even influencing the new Sherlock Holmes. This is indeed to be welcomed, and encouraged!

However, in the shadow of these larger behemoths smaller creatures seek to find the light. The world of smaller independent steampunk films is flourishing in the gloom, and, much like the posts on lesser known steampunk literature, I endeavour to bring to your attention some of these marvellous projects.

I have posted elsewhere concerning the brilliant Wormtooth Nation, a student film which transcends all others, and which preceded the above mentioned City of Ember. Created by Geoff Boothby and Cullen Thomas, as a student project at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield Iowa, it is an alternative vision of A Midsummer's Night Dream:

Here in this underground complex reside the last remnants of the human world.
How we came here or why are questions that no longer have answers. It is recommended, should you wish to ask such questions, you do so quietly, and in places where you will not be overheard. We have been here a long time, and there are those in power whose desire is to remain, calmly, repairing this city and prolonging our continued existence until the final cave in ends us all in dirt and darkness.
The website for the project is The Sky is Free, where you can view the episodes and buy the DVD. I am extremely pleased to note that the team took home 6 awards from the recent Iowa Motion Picture Awards! Congratulations, Ladies and Gentlemen.

The most recent independent steampunk movie to struggle into the light is a work in progress, entitled, strangely enough, Steampunk - the movie. This is a 'all-hands to the pump' kind of operation, rooted in Lexington, Kentucky, and steered by Jaime Pittenger. The website is still under construction, but the first footage looks promising. As the site invites,

Welcome to the world of Steampunks.
To those of you familiar with the Steampunk aesthetic, think 90% punk and 10% steam. For those of you not familiar, get ready for a mind-blowing cultural experience. Imagine Victorian London or New York, a whole layer of gilded industrial ephemera.
Meet Willie Norrister, a god's honest bareknuckles boxer.
Ghery, a woman with fierce dreams and a fiery passion.
Hennison- a mystery and a secret. A loyal friend.
Stars- a chemist, a doctor, a lover, a dealer. A good man.
Peel back the layers of your modern world and find the soul beneath. Disregard what you know about history and concentrate on what you feel in your stomach. Get enmeshed in the past, the future, and in another world.
For those who wish to become involved with the project, the team have established a Facebook page which has already attracted some 68 members.
Expertise on this sort of independent production is invaluable, but help from any quarter is valuable - even down to graphic design, lighting, make-up, and website maintenance. I would urge you to contact them if you are attracted to being involved.

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