"The Esperanta cruise ship travels through the solar system."
One Revolution Per Minute is a short film by Swedish artist Erik Wernquist about a planetary orbiter that visits some of the worlds in our solar system. The artist, who has a long-standing interest in space travel, made it to explore his fascination with artificial gravity in space.
One character, no conflicts, an emphasis on aesthetics and lighting, unusual staging, acousmatic sound and a SciFi theme are the main elements of the short.
Wernquist chose to weave the various shots together by building continuity through an offscreen recorded voice that gives a vector to the various sequences. It also fits well with the intention to describe a cruise ship.
Aesthetics play a key role in the film, thanks to their beauty as well as to presenting surprising visuals, helping hook the audience. The introduction of a human character works very well to further increase the enigmatic nature the short, as does the combination of advanced technology with antique furniture (perhaps inspired by Arthur Clarke’s and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey).
Plenty of extreme long shots and long shots are employed, with just a couple of close-ups. Visual rhythm is high, handled mostly through motion within the frame, changes in lighting, camera moves and editing.
What makes One Revolution Per Minute work so well? Remarkable visuals, unusual staging, a script that transcends contemporary subjects and good use of narrative devices that help build storytelling and hook viewers.