When statistician John Wilkins is sucked out of a plane at 43000 feet, he calculates that he has exactly 3 minutes and 48 seconds before he hits the ground.
Looking a few years back when we first launched Film Shortage, one of our first submission and first official selection was Campbell Hooper’s trailer for 43000 Feet. We couldn’t be happier to kick off our website with such an exemplary trailer, portraying exactly the type of films we enjoy best. Coming back to today, we finally get the chance to showcase the entire film, after a successful festival run across the world.
The bizarre and statful film lives up to the trailer’s high expectations. The film brings up an unusual story about John Wilkins, a statistician victim of a freak accident, sucked out of the plane when an emergency door fails mid-flight. Realizing he has several minutes before he hits the ground, he reflects on his past, formulates a plan for hitting the ground, and rehearses what he will say to the media on the off-chance that he survives.
Time, memory and other quasi pretentious musings on the mysteries of existence. This is, of course, probably the last thing you would think about in any logical way as you’re plummet-ing 43,000 feet toward your death. But this is, ridiculously, the exact premise of this film.
This is exactly what sets this film apart from others. Writer Matthew Harris did an impressive work around at bringing out the absurd and highly improbable thoughts that someone would falling out of a plane would have. As director Campbell Hooper did everything he had to do to bring all this absurdity to seem like stroll in the park. The film’s rich style and cinematography play a huge role in portraying the character and feel of the entire movie.
The films stylistic references are as diverse as John’s own memories, a sort of 1970’s (the conservative, naive 1970’s, not the free love key party kind of 1970’s) thrown into the contemporary world. In the end we leave it open – does John survive the impact of the fall or does he die? That would, most probably, come down to a matter of perception.
43,000 Feet is Campbell Hooper’s first short film. He has since gone onto co-write and direct the short film, Echoes and is currently writing his first feature.