Ok, you’re going to have to set up a bit to watch this one.
No, really — I know it’s tempting to just click that play button up there and watch this on your teeny tiny computer screen or (heaven forbid) your iPhone, but this is one film that deserves your biggest screen, a dark room, and your full attention.
I’ve been excited about seeing this short since the trailer popped up a few months ago, and the full version more than lives up to those heightened expectations. A gorgeously crafted film by Carlos Andre Stevens (Toumai), The Alchemist’s Letter is about a young man named Veridian who, upon his estranged father’s death, discovers that his father built a gold-making machine powered by his own memories. Guided through an enchanted journey through the vessels of the machine — an exploration of the alchemist’s most precious memories — Veridian is given one last life lesson, and a chance to save the relationship with his own daughter.
The touching story (narrated by Eloise Webb and Academy Award® nominee John Hurt) is the perfect vehicle for the biggest draw here, the stunning visuals that will leave you completely entranced (and make you glad you chose to watch it on a screen that does them justice). The color palate is beautifully designed, contrasting the warm, natural hues of the alchemist’s home with the bright, vivid colors of the memories used by the machine. Even more enchanting is the evocative way the machine flows from capsule to capsule, with each having a distinctive feel and weight. The music, composed by Mikael Sandgren, adds the finishing touches to this beautiful film. The only downside is that it is a mere five minutes long, when I could have easily enjoyed lingering in that magical space all day.
I’m sure we will be hearing good things about this film and this director in the near future. In the meantime, I hope you will take some time today to enjoy this amazing film and share it with others.