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KYLE doesn’t stop. After making a name for himself with a couple of acclaimed mixtapes, the multi-hyphenate artist has been on a steady pace of releases ever since his debut album, Light Of Mine, in 2018. Over the past four years, the rapper, singer, and songwriter has appeared as the lead in Netflix’s The After Party, given us the excellent follow-up to his debut, See You When I Am Famous, this year’s very worthy It’s Not So Bad, and now he’s hitting the silver screen once more with his new film (and perhaps best project to date!), Allie & I.
The short film, which is available to stream on YouTube, and a very creepy website dubbed TheInternetDoesntLoveYou, was written by Kyle Harvey, along with Jesus, Araujo, and Tomás Whitmore, who also directed the project, and stars KYLE and Kota Eberhardt — who steals the show as the titular Allie, a stand-in for the intoxicating allure of social media.
The film opens with ominous tracking shots and cryptic birdsong and tells the story of an artist who gets sucked into a world of fame and social media obsession and slowly starts to lose his mind in the process. Like a lot of visual projects KYLE is involved in, Allie & I has a dreamlike hallucinatory quality — dude loves exploring the complex tapestry of the human mind. Using visual poetry and sound design, the short movie weaves a tale that’ll constantly have you questioning what’s real and what’s imagined.
Is Allie a dream? A figment of Kyle’s imagination? Is she social media as seductress? Or is she — and I know this sounds crazy — a bird? Something is going on with birds in this film and we want answers even though we know it’s making us seem like the Charlie Day conspiracy meme!
The answer is never explicitly revealed but it’s fun to get lost in all of the questions. It definitely warrants a re-watch because on a second viewing you’ll start to notice the clues Whitmore and Harvey have cleverly laid out. The eerie and unsettling vibe reminds us of Satoshi Kon’s psychological thriller Perfect Blue, an anime that is name-checked in the film and shares Allie & I’s dream-bordering-on-nightmare themes.
For an artist who consistently one-ups himself, Kyle’s latest project feels like more like a leap than a simple next step. Catch the full film above and lay out your theories in the comments!