Flit short film review

★★★

Directed by: #JackAllen

Written by: #JackAllen

Starring: #JackAllen

Film Review written by: #AmberJackson


Jack Allen and his film on flies makes for a fascinating, if not strange, viewing experience. Flit, made with Edinburgh College of Art, situates infamous fly killer Carl (also Jack Allen). Carl has successfully invented a machine that seeks to kill every fly in existence, however, when a single fly survives the massacre, a bloodthirsty inventor is shown a sweeter side to existence. 


Flit film poster

Watching this film can only be likened to a bizarre mash-up of Back to the Future and Wallace and Gromit, with its themes of eccentric invention, swelling musical score and exaggerated performanceIt is strange to watch and almost creepy when analysed, but there is also something compelling and childlike about watching a fly killer plot his next invention. Opening shots consist of ominous newspaper cuttings and illustrations (by Peter Tilley) of flies and Carl’s successes, as the camera pans across to the man himself in classic retro invention gear in attempts to work his machine.


The piece itself is very well shot and edited together. Director of Photography Elías Nader does a fantastic job with ensuring that the camera angles are in-keeping with an ominous tone, further satirising Allen’s performance. Visual effects by Nader, in collaboration with Allen and designer Ina Morken, were fun to look at. The fly animations added an extra layer of humour, with their lack of realism adding a post-modern vibe to the already eccentric piece. Having this film be as absurd as possible was a positive thing, as it aligns with other shorts that use invention and sci-fi to spark comedy. 


Every element within the film, from props to scenery, is incredibly dynamic, with some having special effects to make them light up, or a sound effect to make them come alive. Sound-wise, every detail was well thought out. Arguably it is a silent film, as Allen does not speak, so instead his exaggerated movements convey his mood, along with a classical-sounding score. This made the film even more electric, with spooky satire being conveyed through music. Again, Allen assists in designing this, along with Laura Wiggett and Tyler Tappin. This extra dimension to the short made it come alive, making it feel like audiences are watching a classic sci-fi short steeped in childhood nostalgia, despite it only being released this year. 


There is something sweet about watching a fly changing a deadly inventor’s heart, as if the audience is meant to consider the morality of flies and what right humans have in killing them. This is a story that does not need to be taken too seriously, but is strangely very watchable. Ultimately, the crew seemingly did not take things too seriously themselves, as even the flies have fun names in the credits, with secret jokey messages. Tying everything together, this makes Flit seem like a fun, fantastical project that the crew thoroughly enjoyed making - which is always great to see in this industry.


Flit is a very absurd watch, but it will be interesting to see what Jack Allen (and company) go on to create next.


#AmberJackson