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Urs Peter Halter
Charlie takes an odyssey through grief during a fall weekend in New York City. His encounters are planned and chance: with a homeless man who sleeps by his building, with a friend who's dying, with the couple who lives (and noisily loves) in the flat above him, with a bartender and a one-night-stand he follows home, and with a tattooed stranger whom he seeks out and befriends. Along the way, Charlie inhabits a city full of moments of violence and of stories and legends: a kidney thief, a microwaved poodle, a rat in a hot dog bun, a baby left on a car top, a tourist's toothbrush, needles in public-phone change slots. Charlie lives and tells his own stories. What caused his melancholy? Written by
"I've got one and this one really happened. I swear."
A night in the life of obsessed Charlie (Dan Futterman) who, thanks to Daylight Savings Time, has one more hour of the night to fulfill his need whatever it may be. Like a moth to a flame he is drawn to Dean (Samuel Ball) but the question is: will the flame consume him?
The story is told in a disjointed series of flashbacks that means you must actually pay attention to the complex story.
This is one film where the term `cinematic style' cannot be under used. It is stylish, dark, atmospheric and intriguing from start to finish. It is also hilariously funny at times.
It was nominated for many awards and won most of them; including Best Actor for Dan Futterman at the Seattle International Film Festival. He is most well-known for his role in `Birdcage' as Calista Flockhart's boyfriend. He plays against type as the obsessed gay man determined to make this one night in his life count for something important.
Every urban legend ever repeated is exhumed; and as Charlie says near the end of the film `We would be the stuff of legend.'
Jordan Beswisck (Casting) and Director Jon Shear did an especially remarkable job with the supporting characters. They slink in and out of Charlie's night like the creatures of the dark they are. Particularly notable are Josh Hamilton as Matt the bartender, Lothaire Bluteau as the street person that has taken up residence on Charlie's door step, William Sage as Charlie's upstairs neighbor Chuck and his girl friend Clara brilliantly played by Barbara Sukowa. What an amazing, yet disjointed, ensemble!
The cinematography by Shane F. Kelly deserves special recognition: it is dark, fast, enigmatic and always brilliant.
The producers Stephanie Golden and J. Todd Harris also need to be acknowledged for their bravery and foresight in bringing such a difficult film to the screen. They have the ability to see beyond the obvious to the golden moment that IS this film.
This is not a film for everyone but if you possess intelligence, wit and character it is a film you must see.
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