20 years ago, Chris Wilcha was a young filmmaker on the rise. He directed the subversive The Target Shoots First, where he infiltrated the corporate music beast of Columbia House Records. He enjoyed a creative utopia adapting This American Life from radio to television for two seasons. But like many independent filmmakers, Wilcha’s luck didn’t last, which led to him shifting to directing TV commercials to support his family, and losing momentum on his passion projects.
In Flipside, Wilcha grapples with all the second-guessing that comes with middle age. He digs into his lived experience – career stops and starts, documentary films begun and abandoned, cross-country relocations, and his attempt to save a secondhand record store – to weave an emotional reckoning with his state of being. The result is a comic yet deeply moving and profound film about ambition and motivation, desire and creativity, and the inescapable existential dread that accompanies the realization that time has passed faster than we could have believed possible.
This American Life has a reputation for featuring skilled storytellers weaving disparate connections into a larger theme. Wilcha embodies this spirit. His quest may be personal, but many viewers will see themselves in it.