Written by: Will Blank and Richard Kaponas
Directed by Will Blank
Starring Raul Castillo and Sam Elliott (voice)
“Limbo,” co-written by Will Blank and Richard Kaponas and directed by Blank, is based on the comic by Marian Churchland. The story delves deeply into one man’s innermost feelings of regret and what’s truly important to him. Blank sets his story in the dry, hot, and desolate desert where a young man has stopped his car to hurl a phone blinking with a text message not yet opened at a Renaissance painting on a billboard. The irony of where the phone will remain for eternity is not lost. The man wanders, leaving his car and his phone, and recollects his recent past and the decisions leading to this regrettable journey. When he stumbles upon a dying dog who will grant him a single wish, only then does he realize what is truly important in life.
“Limbo” is a type of film that takes a while to sink in as it is filled with so much more meaning than initially meets the eye. Blank’s attention to detail is extraordinary—visually and auditorily—to create an environment that completely envelops you. We hear the wind whistling, the fly buzzing, the sizzling of the hot pan, and the labored breathing of a distressed dog. The sounds are frequently the primary focus, accentuating his experiences. Blank balances this cinematically as he captures the desolate, lonely, and unwelcoming desert with the utmost skill.
“Limbo” is rather unusual as it uses a talking dog, voiced by the unmistakable deep and gravely voice of Sam Elliott. It is this voice that immediately gives depth and credibility to this strange and meaningful character. Raul Castillo’s understated performance as the man captures the myriad number of emotions in a short time period. With little dialogue and his thoughts conveyed through voice-overs, Castillo finds just the right pace.
Blank’s ability to create such power and meaning in an 8-minute film is exceptional. He portrays the beauty in life through the recreation of death and desolation, the backdrop of the story. Conceptually and cinematically, “Limbo” is a film to watch several times, paying close attention to every detail Blank has so painstakingly painted for us. It’s an ironic tale that reminds us of what we should cherish in life.
To watch this film go to LIMBO on Vimeo.