Most people enjoy amusement park rides. At least, until you get to that age when the fear starts outweighing the thrills—which for me has pretty much been since I could walk. But even if you’re someone who screams “FAAASTEEER!!!!” while being spun around upside down while a stranger screams in your ear, you’ve probably got your limits. And those limits might be imagined in this short film The Centrifuge Brain Project by Till Nowak.
Fusing mockumentary with wow-inducing special effects, it looks at the fictitious career of Dr. Nick Laslowicz and the company he founded: the Institute for Centrifugal Research. It’s a company that creates baffling and physics-defying amusement park rides in the belief that they stimulate people’s capacity for learning. With a deadpan delivery the film details the institution’s work which it’s been carrying out over the years, as Laslowicz nonchalantly makes passing reference to what can only be hideous accidents made in the name of progress. “Gravity is a mistake” is one of the good doctor’s insights.
The film works because this detached documentary feel is intercut with mindboggling, fantastical rides brought to life with great skill—and reminiscent of Fernando Livschitz‘s films which put rides in the centre of cities like New York and Buenos Aires. Such are the filmmakers’ desires for us to suspend our disbelief, they’ve even created an accompanying website for the institute, complete with designs for the rides and news updates.