Journey to the centre of the room

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The Independent Culture
Summer's here, and your thoughts turn to sultry nights of sensuous bliss. Except your room has been invaded by a fly: one of those critters that zooms around your light fixtures throwing massive shapes on the wall like some acid-raddled shadow-puppeteer, and buzzes like a cathedral-ful of incompetent cellists. Of all God's creatures, the humble fly is the one least likely to give even the most committed vegan an attack of conscience as he rolls up his newspaper in fury.

But take a deep breath and try to look at things from the fly's point of view. Watch Question d'Optiques (1.30am C4), an amazing animated short taking us on a fly's journey around a room, trapped with an evil boy. It's a terrifying virtual-reality trip as we just manage to dodge the pencil thrown up at the lightshade we're sitting on, or smugly look up the kid's nose before gracefully evading the swatting hand. The most banal fixtures - a light switch, a wicker basket - become expanses of fascinating texture to traverse.

This film, by Franois A Jacquenod and Claude G Luyet, is technically breathtaking, and it wouldn't be exaggerating to call it an allegory of the human condition - as in the famous lines by William Blake: "Am not I/ A fly like thee?" It's a mystery why such exciting and innovative television is tucked away in the graveyard schedule. Set the video, and remember to draw the curtains.

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