Film Analysis | Film Reviews

Mythic Romance

1 Nov , 2003  

Written by Chris Cooke | Posted by:

A review of Kyle Gilman’s short film 'The Epic Tale of Kalesius and Clotho,' which screens in the upcoming Northampton Independent Film Festival.

Sometimes love just isn’t meant to be. This saying forms the background of Kyle Gilman’s short film "The Epic Tale of Kalesius and Clotho," featured in the upcoming Northampton Film Festival. Subtitled "A Meditation on the Impossibility of Romantic Love in a Rapidly Expanding Universe," Gilman’s film toys with narrative structure in a meta-fictional way; it tells of his attempts to bring to life a (fictional) Greek myth in a film within the film of the same name. He addresses the camera much of the time, sharing with us his intentions as he carries out his project.

The film Gilman is working on (within the film) is about the nature of free will in relationships, and these are concerns that weigh on his mind. His former leading lady, Jenny (Jenny Tarr) has recently dumped him, and he just can’t get her out of his mind. He compares all the actresses at his auditions to Jenny and spends half his time explaining to us that Jenny simply can’t admit to herself that she still loves him. Unable to settle on an actress for the role Clotho, he pulls Janine (Ashley Linton) — a Jenny look-alike — off a neighborhood theater sidewalk and convinces her to come on board. He recruits his sound man Dan (Dan Rosenthal) to play Kalesius, and he’s ready to roll.

Splicing his own monologue with scenes of his pretentious and laughably amateur film within the film, Gilman constructs an elaborate meta-narrative that constantly comments on itself. In doing so, he manages to parody student films, control-freak directors, the depths of delusion to which a spurned male can descend, and — most of all — himself. Reality and fiction blur, as many actors play themselves. Amidst all the wackiness, Gilman often displays a dry, understated humor, playing the narrative straight man to his own structural clowning. His rationalized-male stalking behavior is truly insightful. And if the film-within-a-film idea is a bit precious, Gilman is self-deprecating enough to pull it off.

So what role does fate play in true love, and how is this all connected to the cosmological constant of the universe? You’ll have to see the film to find out.

Sometimes love just isn’t meant to be. This saying forms the background of Kyle Gilman’s short film "The Epic Tale of Kalesius and Clotho," featured in the upcoming Northampton Film Festival. Subtitled "A Meditation on the Impossibility of Romantic Love in a Rapidly Expanding Universe," Gilman’s film toys with narrative structure in a meta-fictional way; it tells of his attempts to bring to life a (fictional) Greek myth in a film within the film of the same name. He addresses the camera much of the time, sharing with us his intentions as he carries out his project.

The film Gilman is working on (within the film) is about the nature of free will in relationships, and these are concerns that weigh on his mind. His former leading lady, Jenny (Jenny Tarr) has recently dumped him, and he just can’t get her out of his mind. He compares all the actresses at his auditions to Jenny and spends half his time explaining to us that Jenny simply can’t admit to herself that she still loves him. Unable to settle on an actress for the role Clotho, he pulls Janine (Ashley Linton) — a Jenny look-alike — off a neighborhood theater sidewalk and convinces her to come on board. He recruits his sound man Dan (Dan Rosenthal) to play Kalesius, and he’s ready to roll.

Splicing his own monologue with scenes of his pretentious and laughably amateur film within the film, Gilman constructs an elaborate meta-narrative that constantly comments on itself. In doing so, he manages to parody student films, control-freak directors, the depths of delusion to which a spurned male can descend, and — most of all — himself. Reality and fiction blur, as many actors play themselves. Amidst all the wackiness, Gilman often displays a dry, understated humor, playing the narrative straight man to his own structural clowning. His rationalized-male stalking behavior is truly insightful. And if the film-within-a-film idea is a bit precious, Gilman is self-deprecating enough to pull it off.

So what role does fate play in true love, and how is this all connected to the cosmological constant of the universe? You’ll have to see the film to find out.


Sometimes love just isn’t meant to be. This saying forms the background of Kyle Gilman’s short film 'The Epic Tale of Kalesius and Clotho,' featured in the upcoming Northampton Film Festival. Subtitled 'A Meditation on the Impossibility of Romantic Love in a Rapidly Expanding Universe,' Gilman’s film toys with narrative structure in a meta-fictional way; it tells of his attempts to bring to life a (fictional) Greek myth in a film within the film of the same name. He addresses the camera much of the time, sharing with us his intentions as he carries out his project. The film Gilman is working on (within the film) is about the nature of free will in relationships, and these are concerns that weigh on his mind. His former leading lady, Jenny (Jenny Tarr) has recently dumped him, and he just can’t get her out of his mind. He compares all the actresses at his auditions to Jenny and spends half his time explaining to us that Jenny simply can’t admit to herself that she still loves him. Unable to settle on an actress for the role Clotho, he pulls Janine (Ashley Linton) -- a Jenny look-alike -- off a neighborhood theater sidewalk and convinces her to come on board. He recruits his sound man Dan (Dan Rosenthal) to play Kalesius, and he’s ready to roll. Splicing his own monologue with scenes of his pretentious and laughably amateur film within the film, Gilman constructs an elaborate meta-narrative that constantly comments on itself. In doing so, he manages to parody student films, control-freak directors, the depths of delusion to which a spurned male can descend, and -- most of all -- himself. Reality and fiction blur, as many actors play themselves. Amidst all the wackiness, Gilman often displays a dry, understated humor, playing the narrative straight man to his own structural clowning. His rationalized-male stalking behavior is truly insightful. And if the film-within-a-film idea is a bit precious, Gilman is self-deprecating enough to pull it off. So what role does fate play in true love, and how is this all connected to the cosmological constant of the universe? You’ll have to see the film to find out.