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British Film Review: THE FLIGHT OF IRO AND CASPER
Directed By Paul Herbert
Genre: Short - Comedy - Romance
With its irresistible premise, the opening sequence of Paul Herbert’s original 25-minute comedy-drama transports you headfirst into an intriguing world that’s a mixture of fantasy and science fiction – with maybe a bit of mythology literally thrown in (an Icarus-style wax wing).
Chirpy young office drone Caspar (Liam Nooney nailing an appealing blend of naivety and optimism) has never had any luck with the opposite sex. On his way to meet yet another online date, he looks by chance into an ornate mirror in a deserted warehouse – and sees not his own reflection but the reflection of a young woman. Iro (Dimitra Barla) is indeed his mirror image. She appears to be his female equivalent and he immediately falls in love.
Scientists tell Casper that Iro is in a parallel universe on the other side of the sun. Determined to meet her in person, he searches for a device – a “desyncronizer” – that will enable him to cross through the mirror into the other world.
Short scenes linked with other-worldly musical stings move the narrative briskly. Bizarre and complex cod-scientific explanations justify the initial premise, though film successfully maintains its own internal imaginative logic. The film represents a change of universe by switching from colour to beautifully shot black and white. In the alternative universe, everything is reversed. It’s the same people but they are a different sex, the same shops but signs and notices are written back to front.
Casper and Iro, it turns out, are two halves of the same person – not conventional doppelgangers but rather, to coin a word, halbgangers – and their lives and emotions are as linked as the two ends of a seesaw. When one is up, the other is down. Casper’s bedtime reading, we saw, was Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, and experiencing another universe becomes for him a rite of passage into a new world of male-female relationships.
In February 2016, writer/director Paul Herbert’s THE FLIGHT OF IRO AND CASPER is the UK representative at the 2016 Catharsis festival (online). It won the Open Door Showcase 2015 – Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Short. It has been screened at eight international film festivals so far and nominated for Best Narrative Short/Best Fantasy Sci-Fi short at six of them.
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