"Everyone stands alone in the heart of the world, baby."
The first time I saw this film was on the Logo network's Click List of gay shorts. I was totally blown away by it. Not only is the writing original, it's true to life. The characters, in so short a time, become real people, even the peripheral characters like the drunk at the bar, the piano player, and, my god yes, the classic waitress. So even though it lasts only 20 minutes, the actors put their heart and soul into their performances -- you won't forget them after seeing this.
But I guess the thing that really grabbed me about this film was the way in which it was presented by Sam McConnell, the writer/director. The title is something of a clue here. The word "circles" basically refers to how the movie progresses. If you love films and are familiar with Quentin Tarantino, think "Pulp Fiction." That movie technically doesn't begin at the beginning, but through very subtle moves you begin in the middle, progress to the end, then revert back to the beginning, all rather seamlessly. McConnell expands on this technique to great effect, hence the term "circles."
Without giving away anything about the story, it's basically about 3 guys. Two are current lovers, and one of them is the former lover of the third guy, played by Michael Cavadias. You might recognize him from his brief role as the transvestite in "Wonder Boys" with Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire and Robert Downey Jr. It is his character's 33rd birthday, something of a crisis for him, and to help him get over it, his former lover, played by Sean Labbe, meets him at one of their former hangouts -- an all-night diner in Brooklyn. The former lover brings along his current boyfriend, and that role is played pretty amazingly by Caleb Lane. Pay attention to Cal. He holds the key.
I also liked Sam McConnell's use of music in this film. There are only 3 songs throughout the piece, other than the music in the background being played by the colorful piano man. The three songs that form the soundtrack, as it were, fit the mood and storyline of this film perfectly, so kudos to McConnell for his choices here. It's that kind of attention to detail that makes this flick so nice.
The attention to detail, by the way, extends to the on-site location used in the filming. It was shot almost entirely inside an actual, classic greasy spoon called the Miss Williamsburg Diner in Brooklyn. Maybe I have a soft spot for all-night diners (and movies that feature them), but I wanted to make a pilgrimage to this place after I first saw this film. Sadly, it burned in a fire shortly after filming was done. Nothing much is left of the place nowadays but it lives on in Sam McConnell's film.
So check out this film... It's a slice of life wrapped in a time capsule with unforgettable characters and a thought-provoking ending that you'll want to revisit often.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this