I’ll admit going to a Hollywood party, especially during award season, is pretty exciting… in my mind. At the same time, I’m an introvert by trade, and going to such a celebration makes me quite anxious. After watching, director Jeremiah Kipp’s Fizzle, I’m triggered.
The short film is set at one of those highfalutin parties. The twist is that every character monologues about what they are thinking. The other party-goers hear the mindless dronings of nothingness, but we, the audience, hear honest voices of anxiety and insecurity from the famous and famous-adjacent guests.
We start with the matronly hostess worrying about how many people showed up. Another man strikes up a conversation with a celebrity only to realize it’s not that person. The one I identified with was the Woman Who Watches, as I’m very happy to sit in the background and soak it all in. I suppose I’d be the Guy Who Shows Up Too Early And Leaves Way Too Soon.
“…party-goers hear the mindless dronings of nothingness, but we, the audience, hear honest voices of anxiety…”
If you’ve ever been to one of these parties and you have a firm grasp on reality, you’re going to identify with a lot of what Fizzle has to say. All of its characters ring true. I’ve even thought about many of the monologues presented in others just by observing their body language and the vapid things being said.
My only issue is with energy throughout the film. It needed to be kicked up a notch or two. The inner-voice monologues come across as somber, and thus the energy is low—especially for a 29-minute comedic short. I wish it had captured the energy of a real bash.
So, here’s my Fizzle story. I was at the A24 party in 2019. I was early and just one of a handful of people. Willem Dafoe was there for The Lighthouse. As I was seated, he walks by, and our eyes connect. He gives me the “Hey, do I know you?” look, and I looked right back with the look of “No, you don’t!” And that’s my brush with greatness.
"…its characters ring true."