The Attic Loop is a short film made as a side project at the MetFilm School in London by Isaac Nathaniel Fisher and Alex Machlouzarides-Shalit and it stars Fisher alongside Tim Medcalf as two flatmates who discover they have an attic.
This very short film, just under 5 minutes, starts with a man leaving his poorly lit room and going to the hall where he realises the attic door is open. That’s not what is surprising to him, but the fact that he actually has an attic, fact that neither him nor his flatmate were aware of. Confused, he knocks on his flatmate’s door who responds very nonchalantly to the discovery and to his flatmate’s bloodied forehead. This simple exchange between the flatmates gives us an insight on the characters’ lives and relationship, and which, in turn, helps us to draw some kind of understanding of what happens next – it might be a question of whether the film itself is causing us to trip or the characters themselves are tripping.
One of the characters goes up the stairs to explore the attic and leaves quickly upon seeing something that shocks him. As he tells his flatmate what he's seen, we learn that what shocked him in the attic was a mirror image of themselves – doubles wearing the same clothes and conversing. What follows is a series of sequences showing the same situation through different perspectives. The doubles seem to multiply as a “new set of flatmates” emerges on the stairs. We never know exactly how many doubles are there since the situation is explored through objective and subjective shots but we are unaware of whose point of view we are being forced to identify with – thus, the confusion of the characters as well as ours augments. The short briefly follows a pair of doubles who hide and the screen goes black right after one of them complains he has hit his head. The last sequence of the film closes the loop as it goes back to the beginning when the character leaves his room and discovers for the first time the attic door.
Fisher and Machlouzarides-Shalit have made a very interesting short that plays well with its assets – the story, more like a logline – is very simple and the short shows no attempt at resolving it since resolution and a tight-narrative aren’t the target of the film, but rather the focus is to entertain us for a few minutes and leave us questioning whether the flatmates are still there, multiplying themselves and being surprised with the attic door all over again.
Although it was made in 2019, The Attic Loop proved to be a perfect watch for the lockdown days where the discovery of the attic is just a metaphor for the mundane tasks we do every day.