Chatting From Space: Ben Aston's Russian Roulette

Do people in space get lonely? A cosmonaut (Russian astronaut) surfs a sex-chat site called Talk.Roulette. He is instead charmed by Lucy, a woman looking first and foremost for someone with whom to talk. Instead of cycling away from her to the next person, he shows her around the space station. She is fascinated. He is in charge of a deep-space telescope, the largest eye in the world, and trains it on her house to show her what he can do. RUSSIAN ROULETTE is a five-minute comedy directed by Ben Aston. It is part of The New Yorker’s online Screening Room Series of short films. RUSSIAN ROULETTE won the short film competition at Sundance London.

Space is fascinating, and with small cameras and fast internet connections, communication with Earth is possible. Director of IMAX’s A BEAUTIFUL PLANET, Toni Myers, told Science & Film that when she received a call from space, her reaction was “‘What?! You’re calling from space?!’ When you really think of it, it’s only 250 miles in a different direction, but still.” In Rachel Rose’s video EVERYTHING AND MORE, which is overlaid with interviews she did with a retired NASA astronaut, he talks about the lack of smell and of sound in space. The feeling of weightlessness is contrasted with a return to Earth where even his watch felt as heavy as a bowling ball.

Two Sloan-supported filmmakers, Ben Nabors and Michael Tyburski, have had a film selected for The New Yorker’s Screening Room Series. ACTOR SEEKS ROLE was featured on Science & Film.