Youth, Beauty, and Other Terrors make Cobalt a Must-See Film

By  · Published on December 2nd, 2016

Short of the Day

For fans of Kubrick, Refn, Lynch, the Kardashians, and dirty pretty things.

This little gem showed up in my inbox yesterday afternoon and I knew before I even finished reading the email that I was going to love the hell out of Cobalt, a proof-of-concept short film from director French David Tomaszewski, who also wrote with Jérémie Guez. I was right. Just dig the official synopsis first:

“Our main players are children of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and so on, they are slightly aggravated versions of nowadays’ teens: the ones waiting in a huge line at Abercrombie’s on the Champs Elysées like they’re going to church, wearing Beats audio headphones because it’s trendy, bearing big label clothing and accessories, counting anxiously their number of friends and likes & followers on their social networks, photographing themselves endlessly with their phones, dreaming of an easy life and celebrity, completely fascinated by the icons and lifestyle sold by advertisement and medias, and only satisfied by compulsive consumerism and self-exposure.

​The Cobalts are narcissistic, selfish, and self-obsessed young people who never care about others nor the greater good. They’re the scary dark side of a generation, they fill up the news in the brief columns and sometimes headlines with charges such as assault, mugging, school harassment (leading their victims to depression or suicide), gratuitous violence, boutiques robbery, acts of vandalism and destruction, etc.

They are animated by a violence that mirrors the one they receive. This violence becomes a means of existing. Their only way of existing. And mostly, a means of expression.

The Cobalts are a product of their era.”

Actually, I don’t know if that’s a synopsis or a manifesto, but I found it intriguing as all hell and the seven-and-a-half minute film that brings those words to life does not disappoint. It’s like Nicolas Winding Refn directed a CW teen drama based on a series of YA novels by David Lynch, and every ounce of awesomeness that implies.

Cobalt matches the chic sleekness of its concept and characters with incredible production design that meshes film, social media, live feeds and dazzling lighting design into one unforgettable short. I would watch the shit out of this if it was a feature, but personally I think there’s too much potential here to stuff into just one film, so I say go episodic with it, give the world the Clockwork Orange-Gossip Girl mash-up of glitz, glam, and ultra-violence we never knew we needed.

Hit the link for all the production and acting credits, and keep your ear to the ground, because it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s more to hear about Cobalt in the months to come.

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