Watch: Jonny Look's Comedy Short Tries to Communicate with Plants
by Alex Billington
March 27, 2020
"My department was tasked with coaxing them into conversation with humankind. Our primary method is: torture." If plants are alive, can we communicate with them? That's the question at the core of this funky, funny short film. The official title of the short is Assholes, which might be a good title, but it's not an easy one to mention without someone raising an eye-brow at it. From up-and-coming filmmaker Jonny Look, the mockumentary short stars Linas Phillips as Dr. Albert, a scientist who is testing out various methods of torture in hopes of getting houseplants to respond and communicate with humans. The small cast also includes Kyle Mizuno, Will Hines, Ashleigh Hairston, and Sam Buchanan. As totally wacky as this entire short is, it's a hilariously well-made film that explores some household humor that hasn't been fully mined yet. Plants do have consciousness, of course! Perhaps we can try to treat them better after all of this?
Thanks to Short of the Week for debuting this. Brief description from YouTube: "A scientist uses a series of torture related experiments on a variety of houseplants in order to get them to communicate with humans." Assholes is both written and directed by up-and-coming filmmaker Jonny Look based in Los Angeles - see more of his work on Vimeo or visit his official website. He has also directed the shorts Randy Wants to try Marijuana and A Love Letter to Tubes, as well as numerous other music videos and commercials. Assholes features cinematography by Chris Westlund, VFX work by Casey Price, and music by Eric D. Johnson. It's, of course, "inspired by real plant consciousness research from scientists throughout the 1960s and 70s […] the same research that informed the common thought that talking to your plants will get them to grow better/faster." For info on the short, visit SOTW or its YouTube page. For more shorts, click here. Thoughts?
Great short film. I actually felt uncomfortable with him torturing the plants, even though most people don't see plants as something other than inanimate objects--which is (at least technically, at most morally) wrong. Both funny and somewhat disturbing.
Terry Craig on Mar 29, 2020
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