8.0/10
34
11 user 1 critic

Cast in Gray (2005)

In this sumptuously shot short film from writer-director I. Michael Toth, a disillusioned man's chance encounter with a hitchhiker and his dog forces him to reconsider the possibilities of his life.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Timothy Burke ... The Man
Stephen Angus ... The Man with the Dog
Bibo ... The Dog
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Matt Amore ... Emergency Medical Technician
Dusan Lubarda ... Truck Driver
Laurence Nosbaum ... Patrolman
Greg Sosnowski ... Emergency Medical Technician
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Storyline

Stuck in a rainstorm in the middle of nowhere, a man offers shelter in his broken down car to a hitchhiker and his dog. As the hours pass and the rain continues, the man wonders if his decision to let them in was one of a series of bad choices he made in his life - or is the chance encounter with this enigmatic stranger a godsend opportunity to solve his own problems. Written by Anonymous

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Life is anything but black and white

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Drama | Short

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26 February 2005 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

 
- a brilliant film, the best film I viewed at the Phoenix Film Festival, 2005
16 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

Friends at Life Is A Dream Productions, I have now viewed your film, Cast in Gray, many times. To me this film is, indeed, a dream (it has one character). A man at wit's end finds his new self in a dream which was sparked by a close brush with death by suicidal thoughts and action. In this dream he is visited by an angel and a god (dog spelled backwards, unconditional love; interesting that we find the dog's name, Bibo in the credits, if that's a long "i" it sounds a lot like bible). In this dream the man finds his own dream fulfilled, that is, his old life is gone, and now he will pursue his dream, perhaps his passion, for acting. Money, machine (car, cell phone), and the unhappy institutions of employment and marriage have let him down; he may return to his marriage ultimately, but it will be under completely different understandings. He has to nurture the unconditional love that is now in his life ON A DAILY BASIS; he will be focused, and his priorities appear to have been totally rearranged (he sacrificed his old self for atonement and redemption of the new). In the struggle within his many selves there emerges a sense of direction, and he crosses the necessary bridge to his new life. The dream was indeed spiritual; I couldn't find the spiritual symbolism of the triangle other than the typical Christian trinity, but this film goes much deeper than Christianity. There is the storm metaphor beautifully played out, and there are the spiritual symbols of the water and other elements, wine, bread and nutrients, incense, chalice(s), prayer, ethical reflection and "sin" language around suicide, and certainly hope (even the tree of promised life??). There is sensuality/sexuality all over the place...cup is symbolically (in classical literature) female organs and container (enclosed in the car) is the womb; cigars (about six to eight inches long); failed marriage; sensuous eyes of what I call the "angel" and of the dog. And the sounds are sensuous...rain, birds, composition, etc. Breath is important... one man's deep breathing contrasted with shallow breathing of the man "on the run." Certainly there is death/resurrection, redemption and change. The new man will breathe differently. The full moon has some significance that I'll figure out sometime. The film is clearly about the formation of a new man. The director, I. Michael Toth, telling us at the Festival that he "dreamed the story, including the prayer" and the Life Is A Dream in the production title are both consistent with my understanding of the film. The acting/directing/editing are brilliant. The title: Cast in Gray...the gray zone, the in-between time, life between the parentheses??? Certainly the weather, season, tones, etc in the film are gray, but the title is deeper than that, I think. The selves within this man are trapped, one by his choices, one by his freedom -- What to do with the trap? - face your truth, become who you really are, and be grateful for the people, the pain and suffering, your history, etc. which have made "the new you" possible. The spiritual self had good important messages for the man at the wheel, he just needed to position himself in such a way that he could hear..."okay," "maybe I can help you," "let's pray," "have some faith," and "the dog stays with you...feed him once a day." Earth, air, fire, and water unite to bring the quadrants together in this man's life, or as Elizabeth Kubler-Ross would say, the physical, spiritual, intellectual and emotional quadrants were moving toward integration by the man claiming his I-ness, his true self -- a self that only The Other could see and bring out. Now it's a time to improvise, to go with the flow, grow through it, whatever 'it' is. This is a marvelous film; I recommend it to everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (questions: would the birds be singing in the rain and would the cows be leisurely eating during a storm???) William Killian, actor.


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