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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 just caught "Urbania" on IFC. What a terrific surprise! I had no idea this film even existed.
"Urbania" is one of those rare films that grabs you by the back of the neck and holds holds you hostage until the final credits. It's as if one were shadowing the lead character as he plays out the fate of a lonely and harrowing night, facing demons of circumstance as well as a few monsters he creates himself.
Watching this film, I felt as if I was being forced to examine some disturbing sides of life when all I wanted to do was turn my head and look another direction. Much like driving upon a tragic car accident, it's hard not to stare but, by the brute force of some macabre fascination that lives deep in the human psyche, one feels compelled to do just that.
While "Urbania" is a tragedy, the content is handled with a sense of grace and humility. During the final frames, one is left with a feeling of relief and healing, although tainted with the bitterness of loss.
The direction, screenplay and style of "Urbania" is superb. The acting is fantastic. This film is a must see!
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