Tribeca 2019: Flyby

Cora (Tommee May) and Bill (Riley Egan) in Flyby. Photo by Nathan Haugaard.

Flyby is a well-made sci-fi drama from writer-director Jesse Mittelstadt in which viewers can’t help but ask the hard questions after viewing.

When an asteroid, Chrono-7, enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it begins to mess with our perception of time.  The film focuses on Bill (Riley Egan).  After hanging out with friends, we see Bill go back with Cora (Tommee May).  It’s only when she wakes up really pregnant the next day that we realize something is up.  Eventually Cora gives birth to Maven, who we see grow up into an adult faster than the blink of an eye.  At the same time, Bill ages right in front of us.

I’m guessing that the asteroid wasn’t going to hit the surface so the world’s leaders probably thought against trying to destroy it.  This has happened more than once in a movie and it didn’t work out well either time.  But had they known about the potential for temporal distortion, you can’t help but wonder if they would have given any thought.

Writer-director Jesse Mittelstadt is wise to focus on how this asteroid affects Bill in Flyby.  I can’t help but wonder what things are like for Cora.  Is she suffering from the same issues as Bill?  What happens to Bill on the days that we don’t see him?  Is he completely normal during these times or is he suffering from dementia?  There’s a lot of questions that I have.  It’s funny how so many people tend to think of action-adventures when it comes to sci-fi films.  But in reality, some of the best films in the genre are the ones that make us think.

CAST:  Tommee May, Riley Egan, Adam Mayfield, Akul Dang, Bardot Corso, Charles Chu, Chelsea Harris, Chris Reagan, Justin Rupple, Phil Abrams, Ryan Shrime, Torrey Devitto, Valeria Maldonado, Caity Ware

Flyby held its world premiere during the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival in the Shorts program.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.