Dutch Black Comedy “To Catch a Fly” Tackles First Impressions

To Sanne Kortooms, the director behind “To Catch A Fly”, first impressions aren’t too important — because there’s always much more to things, people, and situations than what immediately meets the eye. All things considered, that’s a relatively good thing. Especially because her first impression of the set of her film wasn’t a great one. There’s a tiny house outside of a small village in France (called Brouennes) where Sanne first visited when she was 10 years old with her best friend’s parents. Everything about this small, sleepy town gave her the creeps.

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From the dated shutters to the deserted playground in the village, it wasn’t exactly a dream vacation. Yet when she visited the house again one summer, now much older, she began to realize the power its secluded location truly held. It became the eventual set and where she came up with the idea for “To Catch A Fly.” Over the two years that Kortooms filmed her black comedy, she consulted with a few close friends and colleagues she made over the years in the film industry. Combining their forces and resources, her team helped bring Krotooms vision to life on the screen.

“To Catch a Fly” captures the life of a retiring criminal who is assigned with the task for guarding a Hungarian teenager. Forced to deal with heat, insects, and each other these two characters have much more to them than the viewers immediately see. Everything in the film is carefully thought out and calculated. “As a director, I have a clear thought on how I want things to be. I want to be involved in every part, the things on set but also which instruments are used in the soundtrack, and what color and font the end credits will be in,” Kortooms says.

A good portion of what the film focuses around his background based in Kortooms own time spent at the house. The symbolism of flies is key to film and was developed from the actual flies at the house bothering Kortooms as she tried to write. Along the way, they became more than a literal nuisance. “[The files] represent guys who don’t seem to think clearly and are led on by first impressions about Daniela,” Kortooms explained.

“The film as a whole is about superficiality and not looking further than the surface.”

Which is why her characters, amongst everything else, are so strong in this film. From the Hungarian troublesome girl (Melody Klaver) to the retired criminal (Manou Kersting) everyone on the film’s team was committed to going beyond the surface view. While the characters may seem to be portrayed one way in the film, it doesn’t take long to realize they aren’t who we thought they were. In Klaver’s audition, she came prepared by doing a whole study on the Hungarian accent she was to have if she got the part. Kersting drew all of his own tattoos for his character. This only shows a small amount of dedication that was put into this film.

Simply put, this film is about what it means to be yourself. Who are you behind what everyone thinks of you? While “To Catch a Fly” answers this through this short 20-minute film, Kortooms has plans on making it a full feature film in the future. After the ending we get, it’s exactly what we can hope for. “This story, in short, is part of the bigger film too.  But there is slightly more at the beginning, and a lot more after To Catch a Fly stops,” Kortooms says, looking forward to sharing the continuation of Vincent and Daniela’s story with viewers.

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