Produced by Meghan Doherty
Written by Albert Birney,
Kentucker Audley, Meghan Doherty
Directed by Albert Birney, Kentucker Audley
Starring Sylvio Bernardi, Albert Birney,
Kentucker Audley, Tallie Medel, Meghan Doherty
What do you do if you create a moderately successful Vine channel concerning the everyday life of a gorilla named Sylvio and then the platform just dies and goes away?
If you are Albert Birney, creator of the Simply Sylvio vine videos, you team up with a few other micro-budget filmmakers, raise a modest amount on Kickstarter and create a feature length story around Sylvio and his quest to celebrate the quiet moments of life. For this feature Birney teamed up with Kentucker Audley, and Meghan Doherty to create a story where Silvio, a gorilla, is trying to get by as a debt collector with a hobby of making short videos of a hand puppet named Herbert Herpels doing things like making toast.
Since Sylvio doesn’t speak, his job as a telephone debt collector is aided by a computer generated voice. While this is used occasionally throughout the movie, most of the scenes with Sylvio are with him being mute and somewhat detached from what is going on around him.
The story follows Sylvio as he tries to collect a debt on a man doing a cable access talk show out of his house and accidentally gets sucked into being part of the show. He accidentally breaks a large number of props and ends up being the most popular part of the show. He is asked back and gains some notoriety for his destructive ability.
Some of the bits in the film mimic the gags in the Vine videos but the overall plot goes with the conflict between the puppet shows Sylvio wants to do and the much more popular breaking things segments on the cable show. It’s an interesting take on what we want to do versus what we are praised for doing.
There’s a certain kind of low-budget film that takes the world as we know it and knocks it just a little askew. Films like Frank or Lars and the Real Girl force the audience to reexamine most of what is considered normal in light of the main character’s quirks and eccentricities. Sylvio does this as well.
No one in the film makes a big deal out of a gorilla interacting with humans or having a job and driving a car. Everyone knows Sylvio is a gorilla but the absurd nature of the situation illustrates the troubles we all can have. No attempt is made to make Sylvio an accurate depiction of a gorilla in either appearance or actions. In the end, this film shows how we reconcile the different parts of ourselves.
This movie is not going to be for everyone. This isn’t in the vein of a Jim Carrey slapstick comedy. If you come into this film expecting a standard plot and high-dollar production values then you’ll probably stop about a third of the way through yelling, “What is this thing that I’m watching? Nothing is happening and there’s a gorilla.”
But if you like low-budget films that move forward in a measured pace and have a bit of whimsy mixed in with the pathos then this might be the film for you.
For more details visit SylvioTheMovie.com