Flyby is a story about the ethereal and inconsistent nature of time. A passing asteroid called Chrono7 begins to affect how people perceive time differently. One man struggles to hold on as it surges, slipping through his fingers at an ever-increasing pace. Cora (Tommee May) and Bill (Riley Egan) begin a relationship that unfolds in a familiar way, but then Bill finds himself skipping ahead in dramatic jumps as the temporal distortion of Chrono7 changes his experience of time. His memory gaps and jarring lapses are not unlike how people with dementia experience time.
“…finds himself skipping ahead in dramatic jumps as the temporal distortion of Chrono7 changes his experience of time…”
There is much reflection and rumination packed into this 13-minute short film. The time-velocity effect from space is a metaphor for the compression of events we all sense as we age. Early life is replete with activity, working towards milestones and rights-of-passage. Adulthood has fewer markers and more sameness to the years. Coupled with the fact that each year comprises less of a fraction of your overall lifetime, they tend to be increasingly less significant in your memory. It all blurs together. This could be a cautionary tale: perhaps you should go out and make some trouble, along with some fiery new memories that won’t soon fade into the beige years of middle age.
The film being short is clever as if it was a full-length feature that you missed most of. Even the title is a wry comment on time: it flies by.
Flyby (2019) Written and directed by Jesse Mittelstadt. Starring Riley Egan, Tommee May, Torrey DeVitto. Flyby screened at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.
8 out of 10