David Yip

Quest (2022) is my personal visual story inspired by the two great sci-fi films 2001: A Space Odyssey (1969) and Solaris (1972). These two films hold a significant place not only in sci-fi film genre but also in film history. In 1968, film director Stanley Kubrick teamed up with Arthur C. Clark to make 2001, which was not only famous for its many spectacular montage sequences, but its thought-provoking warning about the relationship between humanity and AI was ahead of its time. In response to 2001, director Andrei Tarkovsky made Solaris (1972), which has been called the Russian 2001. The latter film made film history in its own right with its deep space context and theme of humanity confronting an alien lifeform that evades human experience and understanding. The aspect of these two films that inspired me to make Quest, was the unconventional and unique presence of the alien lifeform: an image of an extra-terrestrial alien is a representation of our own human imagination, or the limitation of it, but the kinds of alien intelligence that appear in these two films surpass this limitation. Quest pays homage to the mysterious and unprecedented form of alien intelligence that is the shared theme of these two great films and their soundtracks. This short film features the interstellar journey of a lone astronaut traveling among remote planets and experiencing surreal cinematic situations that suggest the intervention of a higher alien intelligence. In one scene an octopus-like alien creature provides an intertextual reference to another critically acclaimed contemporary sci-fi film Arrival (2016), which film itself suggests that our own limited concept of time is the communication barrier between human and alien.