CFUV @ UNO: ‘Fylm’ review
Written by Festival Coverage on 05/15/2015
Fylm is a story about relationships, and Venn diagrams, and skiing, and incompetent canine nuclear physicists. So itâ€™s really about nothing at all. Itâ€™s a series of pointless vignettes with abrupt ends told into a consumer grade camcorder. With paper puppets. And a guitarist. And a drum machine. Naturally, itâ€™s excellent.
Looking for all the world like a deranged lighting technician facing a console of his own invention, Simon Munnery mixes puns with sly observations about the little things in life. At times overtly political, at others base, Munnery uses the absurdity of his paper cutouts and his floating head to great effect. I suppose itâ€™s a little like putting Monty Python, xkcd, Robot Chicken, and construction paper into a blender, but everyone describes shows as THIS meets THAT meets THIS OTHER THING that you ALREADY KNOW when it really deserves to be described on its own, starting with the setup that makes it all possible.
Atop a plastic folding table located in the audience is a small wooden sawhorse contraption the size of a toaster oven. On the crossbar are two LED wands sticking up on each end that lift Munneryâ€™s face out of the otherwise dark house. A small camcorder sits on a hinge on the middle of the bar, allowing Munnery to tip the camera towards his face or the tabletop. His work surface is cluttered with cardboard cutouts, drawings, duct tape, a magnifying glass, aviator sunglasses, what looked like a rubber eyeball (or else one of those chocolate ones you get at Halloween). And wires. Wires everywhere. If youâ€™re sitting in the first three rows, all you see on stage is the projection screen, as if watching a normal film. But, half the pleasure of Fylm is watching Munnery work.
The experience is sort of like watching standup or a sketch show in a movie theatre with the live musical backing of guitarist Davy Willis. Sometimes the camera could be used for sight gags, like Munneryâ€™s enormous finger pointing in an accusatory manner. Itâ€™s definitely rough around the edges, but thatâ€™s sort of the point. If everything went according to plan, it just wouldnâ€™t work as well. Though the house was only half full, it didnâ€™t take away from the performance since we were laughing and shouting along, but it deserved a bigger audience. Itâ€™s not a conventional Uno Fest show, but what is? Fylm is hard to describe, but easy to enjoy.
Fylm runs again Sat May 16, 7:00 pm at Metro Studio.