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A Talking Dog Voiced by Sam Elliott Grants Wishes in This Surreal Short Film

A Talking Dog Voiced by Sam Elliott Grants Wishes in This Surreal Short Film

If your day is too normal, Will Blank’s latest short film will turn that right around. Limbo is a desert-set tale of distance, regret, and a wish-granting dog that looks like Falkor.

The dog, voiced by the leather-throated Sam Elliott, is dying of thirst in the wasteland when a young man (Raul Castillo) stumbles upon him (her?) and offers some water. The canine grants him a wish and, in doing so, offers a genuine existential crisis to a man already at a crossroads in his life. Maybe the worst thing you can give someone with regret is a second chance.

LIMBO from Will Blank on Vimeo.

First of all, just check out that design. It’s a balanced blend of the real and the fantastical, giving what could have been an outlandish figure the weight and heft it deserves. Naturally, there’s just a hint of absurdity, winked at by the filmmakers, even as both Castillo and Elliott offer arid deadpan. The silliness is human; when pressed with the possibility of getting anything you want, burritos might be the first thing that come to your mind, too.

We get keyhole glimpses into the man’s situation–flashes that offer us a foundation (a young woman played Anahi Bustillos) and a tormenting, unheard phone message that demand we fill in our own blanks.

I love that it toys with an ancient myth of wish-fulfilling beasts in a fresh, somber way. That it places a man not fit for making any kind of decision in a position to make the largest one of his life. It’s also shot with great poise and beauty, happy to let us spend unrushed time with the man and the dog, surrounded by nothing.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Image: Will Blank

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