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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

TAXI DRIVER remade as unemployment crisis (possible spoiler)

7/10
Author: Darragh O' Donoghue (hitch1899_@hotmail.com) from dublin, ireland
8 March 2000

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Miles Mountjoy, an unemployed English lit graduate (I know how he feels!), goes on the job-hunting rounds, being rejected for a number of reasons, because he has no computer skills, because a female employer mistakenly assumed he's accused her of sleeping her way to the top, because, just as he's about to be accepted, his briefcase is revealed to be an empty prop.

To compound his woes, Miles is given a clearly erroneous parking ticket. The film started with an oddly incongruous scene, in which modern radio babble intrudes over a seemingly Victorian scene, as a matron in her rocking chair, a dour portrait of a patrician behind her back, shoots herself. On a piece of paper beside her is a list of figures and the name 'B. Faber'.

This same Faber is the ticket warden who, Miles thinks, is indiscriminately fining drivers to fulfil his quota. With no success in appealing on a bureaucratic level, Miles decides to confront Faber, but the warden is as icy as the Man with No Name, and despite Miles' many attention-grabbing stunts (including daubing 'I Am A Criminal' in red paint on the warden's windscreen), refuses to talk to him. Getting increasingly obsessed, Miles stages a final showdown with Faber, with surprising, go-getting results.

Miles is a soft, average university graduate who slowly descends into Travis Bickle-like psychosis. Like Travis, on a bourgeois level, he has done everything he's supposed to do - gone to college, Europe etc. - and yet finds all doors closed to him, a man out of his time, skillless, useless. His waffling techniques and spontaneous versatility should be worth something.

The opening, as I suggested, seemed oddly Victorian, timeless, when women crouched under portraits of their husbands, expected to shut up and stay put. This has no narrative basis here, but is thematically linked to Miles, who can find no niche in society. Having a job locks you into a time-based routine, where you become mechanised, fixed - you have a place.

Miles has no fixed place, and so his world becomes increasingly unreal, without coordinates. Time becomes an amorphous concept, he could be living as easily by day or night. Again as in TAXI DRIVER, Miles' increasing drift away from the world of standardised work leaves him drifting on a different plane, and his hallucinatory displacement shapes the film's form, which moves from chripy, indie-style straightforwardness to a twilight zone between dream and reality.

The final showdown, like DRIVER, evokes classic Western mythology to show how far we've come from the anything-goes frontier spirit, and Miles' destructiveness is as ironically beneficial as Travis'. Miles' heightened reality isn't as ambiguous as Travis's though, its dreamlike status confirmed by the increased stylisation and the transition to black and white.

Unemployment is very rarely shown in American cinema, or if it is, it's treated with worthy grimness (eg. THE GRAPES OF WRATH). This is a funny, sympathetic, if slightly self-congratulatory, insight into what happens to bright minds locked out of their perceived birth-right.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Wow!

10/10
Author: maboowho from United States
27 June 2002

A Spectacular short, in every aspect! The directing, writing and cinematography is excellent. The acting is great. Cheryl Pollak, is an amazing Producer!!!!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

no more parking tickets!

10/10
Author: spf45
18 April 2001

This is the best short film. The director really tells a complete story in such a short time (it is a short film), and the writing is excellent. It shows great writing and superb cinematography; the images look like a feature film. It's a story that anyone who has ever received a parking ticket will identify with. Jeremy Piven is excellent in this piece; fans should really check it out. The "Parking Ticket Man" is really almost true to life in a scary and surrealistic way. One of my favorite parts is the scene with the woman behind the counter in the parking ticket office. The comedic timing is really well done; I laughed so many times. All the acting is excellent. And MaBelle Bray's dancing scene is spectacular.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

That's the ticket!

10/10
Author: Snap Dad from Melbourne, Australia
18 May 1999

I love short films, and this one was great, partly because the storyline suited a short film. It was short because the storyline was, and the storyline wasn't short because the movie was. It was well balanced, and well directed.

Thumbs up, check this one out!

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