Wanderers Takes You into Our Future in Space

By  · Published on December 27th, 2016

Short of the Day

A conceptual trip through the solar system.

Today’s selection is a little headier and less-narrative than the usual fare, and that’s precisely why I chose it. It’s called Wanderers and it comes from director Erik Wernquist, who has constructed a vision of what our future in space – that is, our explorative and colonial futures in space – might look like based on the preeminent scientific ideas and concepts from thinkers like Kim Stanley Robinson, Arthur C. Clarke, and Carl Sagan. As such, there is no story per se – “other than what you may fill in by yourself,” as Wernquist notes in his written intro – rather the film is built of images that show us what it might be like to live among the stars, off-planet, in a totally new environment.

Those images are digital recreations of actual locations in the solar system, when possible using real photos or map data, and Wernquist is sure to give a tip of his hat to Chesley Bonestell, the renowned painter of spacescapes, for the visual inspiration to fill in the blanks. Sagan is your narrator, reading an excerpt from his book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision from the Human Future in Space. Put all these elements together and what you’re left with is a visual feast that engages the brain equally in terms of intellect and imagination. Wernquist is a deft VFX practitioner and his images leap off the screen as though we were actually moving among them. If this is what our future looks like, it’s going to be beautiful.

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Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist