Neill Blomkamp’s new studio just released its first short film, Rakka, online for free
Earlier this year, director Neill Blomkamp announced that he would found his own film studio, Oats Studio, with the intention of creating a series of experimental short films. The plan is to release them on Steam and on YouTube for free, and the first film, Rakka, has just been released.
The short film depicts a world under invasion from an alien race, and it features Sigourney Weaver as the leader of the resistance. As fits Blomkamp’s style, the technology is depicted as used and worn, patched together with a sense of pragmatic usefulness rather than flash. It’s a staple of the director’s previous films and fits naturally with Rakka.
Although he has directed just three feature films, Blomkamp developed a distinct style – including the aforementioned take on technology – and that’s in no small part to his history of making short films. The South African director began his career with short films, and many have already made the argument that this medium suits him better.
Blomkamp has been praised repeatedly for his visual style and world building, but often criticized for his character development. In Rakka, the length of the film – just over 20 minutes – forces the emphasis to be on the visuals and the bigger picture.
To be fair, Blomkamp has only made three films, and one of them – District 9 – remains an amazing piece of sci-fi filmmaking, enough so that when news broke that Blomkamp was working on an Aliens film with Sigourney Weaver, it was met with nearly universal excitement. That never happened, of course. Instead, we got Ridley Scott’s muddled Alien: Covenant.
Rakka is the first of several short films from Blomkamp. Carve out about 20 minutes and watch it below.