MeTube 3: Star Wars and RoboCop Collide in this Trippy Opera
Killer robots. Intergalactic aliens. An old lady getting punched in the face.
The third installment of the internationally award-winning MeTube short film series literally has it all.
Coming to the Science Fiction + Fantasy Short Film Festival this weekend, MeTube: August Sings ‘Una Furtiva Lagrima’ blends the sweet sounds of opera with sci-fi absurdity pulled from movies like Star Wars, The Terminator, and RoboCop.
As fans will remember, the first short’s 2013 debut introduced the Internet to Swiss tenor August and his eternally crabby mother, Elfi — as well as a few… unusual guests.
In the second installment, the unlikely duo take their performance to the streets with an unpredictable flash mob featuring a surprise cameo from outer space.
Now, the unusual pair is back for one last hurrah — and this time, they’re hijacking an opera house to bring their wildest, most confusing performance to the big stage. By force, if necessary.
It’s a comedy. It’s a love story. It’s sheer nonsense. So we sat down with Director Daniel Moshel to ask one simple question: “…wut?”
Seriously, though. Huh??
“It was something uncommon! [laughs] I never expected MeTube to be this successful. It wasn’t intended to be a trilogy. The first one was an experimental short. But it was the most successful clip I’d ever done, so I started thinking, ‘Okay. Let’s do a second one.’ [laughs]”
And you said people wanted you to turn it into a TV show?
“Yes. It didn’t work out, but the pitch idea for the TV show was basically that these two are aliens from outer space, and they come along this voyager probe from the 70s or 80s that [humans] shot into interstellar space. They find a gold record with Mozart on it, and they listen to this classical music and fall in love with it. Their ears never heard something like that before. So, they voyage to planet Earth. And there, they land in Austria and snatch the worst bodies you could ever imagine to go on their opera voyage: this old lady and her weird son.”
The third film has more of a narrative woven throughout it. What inspired that?
“The idea was already planted in the first one. His mother is always really dominant. She’s the director of him and everything that he does. So, if he goes for women, she says ‘no.’ He has to go for males. Because she loves men, that’s why [she thinks] he needs to also love men. [laughs] And of course, when he falls in love with the woman and she doesn’t like her, she needs to kill her.”
And that story is told all through song. Why make this trilogy an opera?
“The alien is me [laughs]. I’m also like an alien to opera music. My mother always played opera music when I was a kid and I heard it all the time… but I am new to opera still compared to a real opera lover. That’s why I’m always seeking for things where I’m trying to feel the empathy for the viewers who are not into opera.”
Why do you think these films have resonated so much with audiences?
“If you look at the news — and sadly a lot of people watch the news a lot — it never shows the positive or bright sides of life. There are positive things happening, too — it’s just that nobody talks about them. If you have comedies, good music… it helps you live your life. That’s the explanation for me. That’s what helps me keep on going.”
MeTube: August Sings ‘Una Furtiva Lagrima’ will be featured alongside other sci-fi and fantasy shorts during the 17th annual Science Fiction + Fantasy Short Film Festival on Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22, as well as online. Tickets are now available. See the full lineup.