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Jack Griffin Mazeika
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 got this movie through Netflix. The first time I sat down to watch this movie, it was late at night and I thought it seemed sort of wierd. The first scene made me a bit squeemish, it didn't seem like what I was expecting, and I was being interrupted by phone calls anyway, and couldn't really give it my full attention, etc. so I thought, "well, I'll put that one aside for now and think about whether I really want to watch it." Finally, one evening I was rummaging around for something to watch and I saw this lying there and said, "OK, I'll give it another try." I am so glad that I did. As I let it play on from the beginning I found myself totally engrossed. Turns out it's very fast moving and you have to be on the ball to get everything out of the movie. The ending moved me to tears. This is a thriller with a dark thread of ironic comedy woven into a very serious and moving story. I love the writer's and director's use of urban legends. I think the film clearly illustrates how there really are injustices in this life, (ie: the story of the main characters), but how many horrible injustices in society get overlooked and dismissed as trivial, through the desensitization of being grouped together and schluffed off as 'just another one of those urban legends...it didn't happen in my back yard so it must never really happen...etc.'? But, as Charlie's character points out, "s**t really does happen". The truth is that these types of injustices happen often (whether to straights, gays, lesbians, people of color, homeless, handicapped, etc.) but it's always easy to overlook and dismiss as non-existant injustices that have never happened to you or anyone you know. No amount of denial can negate fact. No amount of mass ignorance can void truth. This film is not a good 1st or 2nd date movie and not a good choice for the person who has no depth of character, intellect or emotion. But if you are someone who has the ability to think deeply and see further than the end of your nose, and enjoy reflecting on a film after you see it, you will not be disappointed.
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