Film,  The Q Review

Q Review | The Phantom 52 | Swerve Pictures

I recently spoke with filmmaker Geoff Marslett who mentioned this intriguing animated short he wrote and produced called The Phantom 52 (starring Tom Skerritt). It’s based on the 52-hertz whale, a single living creature that has never been sighted, only heard through hydrophones. It sings at a frequency no other whale can hear. In this short, Marslett explores the idea of a lone trucker as the whale, reaching out through the night using a CB radio.

It’s an extraordinary concept that touches on ideas of belonging, communication, loneliness and hope. Marslett told me that he took pains to avoid anthropomorphizing the whale, instead choosing to “whalepomorphize” the trucker. The result is surreal, melancholy, and poignant. Anyone who has ever felt invisible will immediately recognize the desperation in Skerritt’s performance, as the trucker attempts over and over again to connect with another infraorder Cetacea – any other – to no avail.