4.8/10
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3 user 6 critic

The Manual (2017)

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In a dystopian future, the last human is raised by a machine. He struggles with the loneliness of no human interaction and questions the teachings of a mysterious religious 'Manual' which the machine claims is holy.

Director:

Wil Magness (as William Magness III)

Writer:

Wil Magness (as William Magness III)
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11 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Lauren Emery Lauren Emery ... Machine
J.J. Johnston J.J. Johnston ... James
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Storyline

In the distant future, James is the last human on Earth. He is raised and protected by a humanoid robot, the Machine, who brings him up on a strange composite religion described in a handheld device called The Manual. The Manual's teachings fuse aspects of old-world religion and incorporate robots as spiritual beings in the afterlife, alongside and equal to humans. The man wrestles with loneliness and depression while the search for other humans becomes more and more futile. As his faith in The Manual is shaken, he sets out to test one of The Manual's core beliefs: reincarnation to the next life in the city of the Creator. What he finds could be described terribly as exactly that. Written by William Magness III

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Genres:

Short | Sci-Fi

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 July 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Manual See more »

Filming Locations:

Washington, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Magness See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39:1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Don't be put off by reviews - Watch and form your own opinion
23 January 2019 | by RichMiles24See all my reviews

Overall I would say this is a great short movie and worth 30 minutes of your time. The cinematography is fantastic coming from such a small team and budget, there are beautiful compositions throughout and they are tied together by a great soundtrack. The movie does a solid job of creating a post apocalyptic world - It's not overdone or cheesy. It feels peaceful but lonely.

There are some flaws - The flow of the film is sometimes choppy between cuts, and the robot companion didn't make me feel invested or otherwise emotionally drawn in. J.J. Johnston did a solid job as the lead and had some great moments, although again, I didn't get a chance to become particularly invested in his character. The same goes for the story; it's very intriguing, but I never felt truly drawn in to it.

Will Magness has real potential as filmmaker and I very much hope this is the start of more to come. Although the movie didn't quite slot together perfectly, it still felt well refined and polished. It's not perfect but there is plenty of potential, I definitely want to see more of what Will can do.

Give this short a watch.


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