A 20 minute short Lauren Cooney’s Pendulum begins with a rather chilling premise. Thirty years previously the Hubble telescope detected a gravitational anomaly at the edge of the galaxy that would destroy Earth. A generation has grown up knowing they would die in their twenties. That’s a pretty heavy piece of knowledge to be carrying around with you. One it takes large amounts of drugs and alcohol to deal with.
As the first effects of the impeding end of the world start to be felt two friends Cerys (Lauren Cooney) and Gwylim (Scott Michael Wagstaff) leave the debauchery of London behind and head to India. They end up at a commune run by the enigmatic Derryk (Tom Sawyer). Will they find peace as everything comes to an end?
Filmed with minimal scripting and maximum improvisation while backpacking in India, Pendulum is a quiet tale of apocalypse. About learning to be at peace and accepting one’s self. It’s spiritual without being preachy, evoking a quiet sense of wonder in its final moments. Apart from one somewhat out of place melodramatic burst it pulls it off quite well.
Even the actual end of the world is restrained, and actually quite beautiful. Represented at first by odd bursts of color in the sky. The colors become more prevalent and what we see more distorted as the end approaches. Pendulum might well have the prettiest apocalypse in cinema history, and quite appropriate for this film.