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Film / Up 1984

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Up is a 1984 short film (14 minutes) directed by Mike Hoover and Tim Huntley.

A man is seen letting loose a hawk, one that he apparently had cared for. Then the man, who is obsessed with not just birds but the idea of flight, gets a hang glider and takes flight. He seems to chase after the hawk, as he soars through snow-peaked mountains and through the deserts of the Southwest. At one point he lands on a hilltop, right next to a boy, whom the man takes on a ride. Finally, after making a difficult pinpoint landing on the top of a very narrow butte in Monument Valley, the man has an accident.

Not to be confused with other works titled Up such as the Pixar film or the British documentary series. Compare To Fly!, another short film that celebrates powered flight.


  • Call-Back:
    • A single feather, presumably from the hawk, flutters down as the man watches it fly. Later, the man gives the boy the feather.
    • The scene where the man apparently falls to his death is followed by a call back to the beginning and the shot where he lay on his back in the grass and watched the hawk fly.
  • Icarus Allusion: The man, soaring up into the sky on his hang glider in an effort to follow the hawk, eventually falls to his death when his harness breaks. It's implied that this is the consequence of his hubris, especially after he landed on very tall, very narrow Monument Valley butte.
  • Killed Offscreen: The man, plummeting to earth after his harness came loose, is last seen disappearing behind a mountain top.
  • Lens Flare: A few shots of the camera catching birds or the glider in the air also catch the sun and produce lens flare, clearly as a way of underlining the beauty and majesty of flight.
  • Minimalist Cast: The man, and the boy that he meets on the hilltop, are the only characters. Unless you count the hawk.
  • No Name Given: No names used in the short.
  • "Pan from the Sky" Beginning: The first shot pans down from birds in the sky to the man's isolated cabin.
  • Scenery Porn: Some truly stunning aerial shots of snow-covered mountains, lakes, and the starkness of Monument Valley.
  • Silence Is Golden: No dialogue in the short other than in the opening scene, where the man can be heard muttering things like "It's OK" and "You can do it" as he carries the hawk to the clearing where he's going to let it loose.
  • Single Tear: A single tear rolls down the man's face as he watches the hawk that he freed take flight. It's implied that a desire to join the hawk is what led him to hang gliding.