Back at the end of the summer (how did we already get to winter?!) after 3 months, 112 films and 22 finalists, the time finally arrived to announce the winners of the first South West Filmathon Thing, run by the awesome and dedicated team at Devon and Cornwall Film!
There were an incredible 5905 votes were cast, 3 overall winners were chosen to win the Judge’s Choice, an Overall Winner and in this case…. the Audience Choice Award went to Jason Housecroft‘s captivating Flies, here’s our review of this unique short film that obviously also captured the imagination of the most important people of all, the audience themselves!
Flies (14mins) Dir. Jason Housecroft
In the faded beauty of the house of his ancestors, a man waits for the return of the love of his life. Dark fantasies and crushing reality weave a dangerous journey as a struggle unfolds for his mind and ultimately his life. “Flies don’t come back so who cares about flies?”
Flies, like more mainstream surreal filmmaking, did take me a moment to bury myself inside of, which is aided by the balanced 14-minute runtime. Too short, and you could dismiss it, too long and I think you’d lose the thread of connection to the story. Opening with a shot of torn photographs falling through the air, the title sequence shows us a man walking down a hallway and then the visuals start to reverse, as does the accompanying music. This indicates that whatever we’re about to watch may not follow the ‘normal’ flow of time, and that’s exactly what Director Jason Housecroft offers, working with a script from Phil John, seems to go for.
Flies is a tale of depression and loss, of somewhat surrealist pain, regrets and – in many senses – felt like a performance art poem to me, visualised through moments of memory. Lead actor Tim McGill offers us a truth of this darkness and while the overarching story might sound dispiriting, this is an oddly captivating animal that captures an essence of things we often try to ignore in others.
A knowing, melancholic air lingers throughout, in this deeply honest piece of filmmaking with a disturbing atmosphere. The team show of some subtle and clever camera methods, to create a world within the main character that spills onto the screen. The short also reminded me a little of Rutger Hauer’s outstanding short-film The Room, which is also highly recommended, and I can see why any audience would be captivated by both.