Tag Archives: Royal College of Art

Beyond weird: Phil Collins’ noir short film Calliope

You couldn’t make it up. And I haven’t. On a lazy YouTube Saturday (you know how they go), I happened across this genuine oddity starring Phil Collins (‘Sussudio’) as Jackson Dover, an unctuous thriller writer who creates a character – femme fatale Calliope – only for her to “come to life” and start blowing away his critics. Martin Jarvis (who I’ve only recently worked out is the spitting image of Geoffrey from Rainbow) gamely supports as Dover’s suave, Lego-haired, dickie-bowed agent.

It’s a kind of weird, wish-fulfilment, meta-noir that never quite manages to vault Collins’ innate smugness, and gets in a bit of a fangle towards the end due to its own clever-cleverness. But, you know what? It’s actually kinda fun (and keep watching to the end for a couple of great cameos, one of which connects it to Robert Altman’s The Player; a film it superficially resembles). Apparently it was made in 1993 as part of a film course at the Royal College of Art by director Alun Harris.

Credit to YouTuber (and massive Phil Collins fan, if his playlists are anything to go by) bastidiaz for the upload. Enjoy: