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It is a strange short film set mostly at a bar in New York City. I bought the DVD entitled "American Breakdown." James Gandolfini does a great job with his part and steals the short. Lou Gossett Jr and Joe Mantegna also appear as a bar regular and bartender. The story is centered around a young man who breaks into the bar. The film shows how he realizes his conscience and about the paranormal. The short film covers the story enough. Gandolfini is awesome and sorely missed today. He was a great actor and I was fortunate to see him act on stage before he is famous. Oscar winner Lou Gossett has a small role. Joe Mantegna is also memorable as the bar owner and boss.
I recently saw this at the 2007 Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films and it marks the directorial and writing debut from actor Paul Carafotes. Caraforte certainly has a great cast here which includes three Hollywood A-List heavyweights who between them have 1 Oscar, 4 Emmy's, 15 Emmy nominations, 5 Golden Globes and 8 Golden Globe nominations among numerous other prestigious industry awards, Louis Gossett Jr., James Gandolfini and Joe Mantegna. Also in the cast is the grandson of Hollywood legend Steve McQueen, 19 year old Steven R. McQueen. This story takes place in a small Boston shot & a beer working class bar where burglars have made entrance from a skylight to break into the juke box and steal it's coins. Mantegna is the narcissistic bartender Mike, Gossett is the gun-toting, coke-sniffing bar fly Doc, McQueen is The Kid, a troubled teen torn between being bad and good and Gandolfini is The Man, a mysterious mob-like character whose apparition is seen only by The Kid. Director/writer Carafotes was on hand for the screening for an audience Q&A. The Kid is kind of a composite of himself as he was growing up and he didn't know McQueen or who is was when he spotted him at a party and could see from across the room that he was exactly who he was looking for for the role. McQueen is good in this ensemble cast that also includes Marivel Decker, Laurie Fortier, Michael Rispoli and Billy St. John. Fans of Gossett, Mantegna and Gandolfini will enjoy them in their roles in this short that Carafotes is extending into a feature film. I would give this an 8.0 out of 10 and hope to see it more developed.
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