Angelo Salamanca
Australian Cinema Ensemble



The Spider and the Fly

2002, 15 mins, drama, 35mm  

Director:  Angelo Salamanca  
Executive Producer/Producer: Anne Rittman
Producer: Rae Hart
Director of Photography:  Con Filippidis
Editor: Ken Sallows
Production Designer/Art Director: Ruth Lyon
Music Composer: Michael de Wolfe & Steven Hadley

Cast:John F. Howard, Georgia Van Cuylenburg, Michael Burkett, Drew Tingwell, Tamara Donnellan, Penelope Bartlau, Stuart Bowden.

St. Kilda Film Festival; In The Realm Of The Senses; Fitzroy Shorts.



Late one evening, whilst driving on a dark and quiet road, gruff father Blowfly and his beautiful young daughter Fly, appear to run down a creature, a Roach, which suddenly comes into view in the middle of the road. Whilst the dominating Blowfly checks for damage, or a body, he is strangely lured into a building, The Place, across the road by the very creature whom he appeared to run down.

Suddenly alone in the car in the dark, young Fly wonders what to do. As she watches The Place for signs of her father, unusual creatures come and go. Fly resolves that the only thing she can do is to go inside and look for her father. It must be safe; after all, he appeared to enter the building willingly.

Fly approaches The Place. A wave of music washes over her as Roach opens the door to admit her. Inside, music pumps and strange creatures get high on cocktails of alcohol and designer drugs. Fly has never seen such a rave; her father would never have allowed it. The beautiful new girl on the block, the Fly is an instant target for the predatory creatures who party here. Free of her father’s authority, Fly allows herself to enjoy this strange world and everyone wants her attention, the rotund Worm, the wanna-be cool Earwig, the lustful Mosquito, but none more so than the supplier of the drugs, the giver of the party, the owner of The Place — Lord Spider.

Spider flatters the young Fly, and while she knows that she should not be foolish enough to be swept up by such idle flattery, she is young and impressionable - this world is beautiful and free. She tries to resist the temptations that surround her, but finally she cannot. And she cannot resist the beautiful Spider.

The comely but dangerous Spider has won himself a new plaything. And as he prepares for his game with her, Blowfly, cocooned, silenced and hanging high up in a corner of the Spider’s den can only watch in horror as his precious daughter willingly gives herself to the Spider.

Director's Notes

In our waking life we perceive myriad symbols - consciously or unconsciously - just as our sleep is crammed with symbol-laden dreams the bulk of which we don't remember.

The fable "The Spider and the Fly" is an allegory dramatising the loss of innocence. The basic premise is an obvious one: the dangers of being seduced by what we instinctively know to be harmful but which we still feel compelled to savour. The tale, in the style which we are telling it, is imbued with dark, gothic tones but leavened with bacchanalian revelry and a celebration of sensuality. This use of colour and movement will serve to beguile innocence personified - in this case, "Fly". Like Lewis Carroll's "Alice", Fly will be introduced to a world comprising a bevy of characters whose human and animal traits meld.

Mary Howitt's poetry/dialogue is mainly written in iambic heptameter (seven beats to each line with stresses falling on alternate beats).

As with Shakespeare's poetry/plays, though the meter should be respected, our aim is for a speech pattern which resembles normal speak.

Our objective is for the viewer to identify with "Fly" and be swept away by the "music" of the poetry, the cinematic language and the strong audio/visual elements.

Of course we run the danger of distancing our audience if the story is told in too stylised a manner. It's important that in world we are creating, the marriage of naturalism and artifice, is a happy one.

The following, lists aforementioned human characters with animal traits. Our intention is to find a balance between what is credible and what is not - in other words, to what degree will an audience suspend disbelief without compromising the story's dramatic pull?