Character actor Michael Shannon has been nominated for his second Oscar for his role in the 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals. "No Small Parts" takes a look at some of the other characters he's played in the past.
This occasionally airs on the IFC and is definitely worth a viewing when it does. I saw this recently and it's a fine example of the type of challenging film-making and writing that is lacking in independents today.
A sniper takes control of a rooftop of one of the dorms on a college campus - but rather than focus on the obvious tragedy and danger of the situation, the film addresses the everyday aspects of life surrounding it, to comedic effect on occasion. This seems crude and insensitive on the surface- but it plays as something just outside dark comedy with atypical approaches to side story and narration. The narrator and main character, Jay has an unique viewpoint to the ordeal after he witnesses one of his professor's get shot in the quad only to later find out his connection to the sniper responsible. The interesting character of Walt Whitman is portrayed by the writer of the film, Stephen Grant. Campus life and the transitory nature of relationships are playfully foregrounded here and it makes for a far more interesting and unexpectedly entertaining result than you'd expect.
This approach to the subject matter may be something that would never see the light of day as a mainstream film with all the sensitivity to events like Columbine, D.C.sniper from 2001 or even the UT sniper from the 60s but as a low budget indie it works and is worth watching.
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