A troubled young man and his strait-laced niece embark on a thrilling odyssey through New York City in this heartrending drama based on an Oscar-winning short. As his life hits rock bottom, 20-something Richie decides to end it all, only to have his half-hearted suicide attempt interrupted by an urgent request from his sister to babysit her precocious daughter. So begins a madcap tour of Manhattan after dark, as uncle and niece find unexpected bonds in the unlikeliest of places. Written by
Paul Welsey starred in the movie when he was on his break from The Vampire Diaries. See more »
Dear Vista, I've been meaning to write this note for a long time, but as you know, I'm not very good at expressing myself. So I'll just say this. I miss your smile. I would say that I hope this note finds you well, but as these things go, that won't be the case.
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A Beautiful Piece of Filmmaking from first-time, already Academy Award-winning writer/director, Shawn Christensen
I watched Before I Disappear when it screened at the Hollywood Film Festival this past weekend and also fell in love with the short film version, Curfew, when I saw it after it won the Oscar for best live action short film.
The feature film is an outstanding debut for writer/director/star/producer, Shawn Christensen, the man with many hats. This independent film has such a beautiful balance of dark themes such as suicide, drug addiction, and depression but couples it with some very dry and dark humor, an incredibly emotional core, and a hopeful message of life and love. The strong character-driven story is very original and has such great characters to invest in, especially the core relationship between the main character, Richie, and her niece, Sophia, played by the extremely talented, Fatima Ptacek. Christensen's strong visual and storytelling style flows seamlessly throughout the movie, showing his brilliantly creative voice. For one, the visuals and the cinematography are absolutely stunning from each scene to the next, with vibrant colors, smooth camera composition and movement, and unique lighting choices all throughout the story. Also, there's quite a bit of surrealism in this feature, which might have took me back at first, but realized how creative and beautiful the storytelling techniques progressed the character's motivations through them. And finally, with Christensen's background as a musician, music plays a vital role in the film, weaving the drive of each character, as really great music drives the story just as powerfully as the visuals.
I honestly loved this film and can't wait to watch it again, hopefully own it on DVD, too! Shawn Christensen definitely has become one of my favorite directors as well as one of the strongest voices as an up and coming artist in film, who already has got his hands on an Oscar as he shows off his incredibly well made first feature length film. Before I Disappear is a beautiful piece of filmmaking that grabs the audience on an emotional level, isn't afraid to be bold, and can really get you thinking and soon enough appreciate the great value of our very lives.
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