Nice, but only for people who like alternative film.
Quiet City (2007)
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Nice, but only for people who like alternative film.
The film's minimalist plot is thematically similar to Richard Linklater's "Before Sunrise", but its production values are far more basic and it lacks the mythic element. The two protagonists are neither as articulate nor charismatic as Linklater's Viennese lovers, and their relationship is considerately less intense. However it becomes fascinating to observe a friendship develop through commonplace activities and banal conversation. Much of the film's success is due to Erin Fisher's easygoing Southern charm as Jamie - her beautiful eyes and enigmatic amused smile gradually dismantle Charlie's slacker exterior to expose a genuine person worthy of her affection. If anybody cares to give an even break to a film lacking the usual dramatic elements, it could provide some subtle pleasures.
But it's a nice film. That's really all there is to it. This is yet another film by another "ultra-indy" filmmaker, focusing on twentysomethings and the way they communicate. The scene, cutely coined mumblecore seems to lump together a group of filmmakers (coincidentally, all of them seem to like each other and/or work together) who all seem to be focused on the ultra-indy tactics like self-distribution, microbudgets and digital marketing of their own films. It's interesting how the six degrees theme in the film, Quiet City seems to ring true for this whole mumblecore thing. These guys all started out individually, but we've seen quite a collaboration this year. I'm anxious to see what's next for the "mumblecorps"?
So in this film we see a cute girl from Atlanta (Erin Fisher) who visits New York, can't get hold of her friend, and then instead hangs out over 24 hours with a random slacker (Cris Lankenau) she meets at the subway station in Brooklyn.
It's cute, and you do get to feel that the boy and girl are connecting over an intense period, but it didn't really made an impression on me. Maybe it wasn't dramatic enough, maybe the realism bored me, maybe the long shots were a bit too long, or maybe it was the "American" dialogue.
What I mean by that is that they use all of these "pause words" a lot. I even spent a few minutes counting them (by opening the subtitles in Word): "like" (229 times), "you know" (28 times), "kind of" (39 times), "sort of" (22 times), "uh" or "um" (43 times), "I don't know" (22 times) and "really" (55 times).
It isn't that much dialogue in the movie, so that is a LOT of pause words, all of which are basically unnecessary for saying something. (Sarah Hellman's two-minute random monologue might have accounted for half of the "like"-quota, for instance. How ditzy is it possible to come across as?)
Even if this is how Americans actually talk, for us europeans it sounds like they have no vocabulary and are very slow thinkers who need to insert a lot of "pause words" just to get through a sentence.
"Mumblecore" might be supposed to be ultra realistic, but I am pretty sure it could benefit such movies to tighten up the script, thereby making it more interesting and transcend boring reality just a little bit.
Finally I have to make the obligatory reference to "Before Sunrise" and say that it's unfortunately much more interesting, substantial and memorable than "Quiet City", even if the two movies are a bit different in style and shape.
I realise this review will blow all my chances of ever getting to flirt with Erin Fisher (and Sarah Hellman), but it's mostly meant as a warning for people who are interested in "real" movies, and also as a message to the director Aaron Katz.
A movie like this would have been much more interesting if the dialogue was better and more meaningful, and if it just had more of a "real" movie-feel about it. Right now it seems like something anyone could improvise over two days. And that's unfortunately not a compliment.
But of course I would rather have a thousand indie-movies like these instead of the usual predictable Hollywood-crap. I only wish they could be better than this.
Take a chance on this movie if your eyes and ears are open to a different perspective on twenty something life.
Yes, the movie is somewhat self-indulgent; some scenes would have benefited from a trimming-down, yet the narrative flow is unhindered by the slower pace. Although Katz doesn't emerge from 'Quiet City' as a director with an agenda, after his tedious comment on teenage rape, 'Dance Party USA', it's perhaps for the best that he sticks to observational film-making, and leaves social commentary well alone.
However, there were some good things I liked about this picture. Obviously the music and the cinematography was very well done, especially the music. It's so simple and very beautiful and fitting to the film. Many of the notes struck in the music linger and then fade away with a few seconds til the next note. This definitely helped set the mood of the film, and worked extremely well with the visuals.
Dialouge is interesting to look at in this film. First of all it's very natural, and the characters themselves seem very real. This is great in a film, but however, I don't think this should be the only thing, and unfortunately this is mostly what we're left with in this film. Watching these two characters meet really reminded me of how similar this is to my own life, yet that's all it is (for the most part). I don't find this film challenging, or even attempt to bring any kind of dramatic tension into the piece at all. Not having any dramatic tension isn't necessarily bad thing in the case of a few situations. Mutual appreciation (another mumblecore film) had very little dramatic tension and still was very entertaining, and more of a portrait of a person's life. This is really a portrait of a new relationship, and two people finding each other in modern times. And on top of that kind of boring.
I don't feel like this film is really trying to say anything. It's rather just trying to show the viewer something real in times where that can be hard to find. But in this case it fails, because it does so with out even attempting to find anything deeper. In a way I almost feel this film is shallow. It just scratches the surface of life without attempting anything more. And just as in with most new relationships, the easy part is when you first meet the person. But after awhile you really get to know them and you see who the real person is.
And one final thing. I feel like some of the shots were ridiculously too long. To be specific, the CU shot of the subway passing by in the opening must have gone on for over a minute. Why? Highly, and ridiculously unneeded. You can ponder over an image like that for 10 to twenty seconds and then move on.
If you're looking for more than you can find in your own real life, I would pass on this one. Go rent Before Sunrise instead. Much more thought provoking and also captures the fleeting and intense nature of youth. You'll get much more out of it than this film.
There is no plot, and for a "dialogue-driven" film, it literally had the worst dialogue I've ever come across in my 28 years of life. I think it was all improvised, and horrible at that. I am an indie film fan, live in NY and frequent Sunshine to see great indie films. This, however, cannot even be called a film. It is like some horrible home video, some horrible documentary. Nothing happens.
Save yourself, DO NOT watch this movie. Please. I have nothing to do with the director or actors and this is not some sort of review aimed at hurting anyone involved with the movie. I have never felt anger after watching a movie, but I feel so angry right now. I cannot believe this passes for a film. And I cannot believe my girlfriend made me watch it.
Save yourselves!!! It is like watching a 78-minute awkward moment! Nooooooo!
Set against the considerably less impressive backdrop of Park Slope, Brooklyn, "Quiet City" follows the maunderings and meanderings of Jamie, an Atlanta waitress, and jobless Charlie after they have met randomly in a subway station. Not exactly Dumb and Dumber, this pair more approximates Uninteresting and Uninterestinger.
Both "Before Sunrise" and "Quiet City" owe a huge debt to Woody Allen, as both seem to strive for breezy candor between interlocutors. Whereas the former film's protagonists had some life experience behind them and thus compelling things to say, Jamie and Charlie are staggeringly vacant and dull. It's painful to watch Jamie self-stimulating with a Superball (during a walk with Charlie) and escaping him at a party to tinker with a drum set. (Perhaps such pursuits are more gratifying than trying to penetrate this lunk.)
But Jamie -- who always seems to want to connect more than Charlie does -- just labors on. In the penultimate scene, she manages to get him to actually lean his head against hers during a nuzzle. But then she's headed back to Atlanta in the next frame. I guess all this is supposed to be deep.
This movie was co-written by the actors who played Jamie and Charlie, making this glorified film-school project the movie equivalent of a vanity novel.
At 125 minutes in length, it's such a quiet waste!
But somewhere the movie lost itself, the story was no where to go and made it a bit lengthy even though movie was some 70 odd minutes, it seemed much more than that. I was to be frank waiting to end for very long time. The end in the end was realistic but not enjoyable.
If u have plenty of time to be wasted then u can probably watch this movie. i would give 5 of 10 to this movie for good camera work and the interesting start.
As things turn out Samantha is a no-show with Jamie meeting Charlie who's on his way home on the subway. Having no place to stay Charlie is more then willing to let Jamie crash at his pad. It doesn't take long for both Charlie and Jamie to click as the two ,dispite having lived almost 1,000 miles apart, have a lot in common with each other. The movie "Quite City" has Charlie and Jamie make the best of the brief time that they have with each other which includes going to a local art-show that Jamie's Brooklyn friend Robin, who's like Jamie a native from Atlanta GA.,is sponsoring.
In between meeting Robin and her somewhat obnoxious boyfriend, and Charlie's high-school buddy, Kayle Charlie had a chance to get a hold of his prized fedora that he once left over at his friend Adam's apartment. It was too bad that Charlie got so involved with Adam talking about the good old days that he forgot to take his fedora with him! After going to an all night party with Kayle and getting both high and drunk on pot and booze Charlie and Robin take the subway home only to fall asleep and miss their stop, Smith/9th St, and eventually end up in Conley Island.
Even though Jamie didn't meet the person she was to see in Brooklyn-Samantha-she did meet the handsome and sensitive Charlie Miller who not only got to spend the weekend with her but made her feel at home and know that her visit to the Big Apple wasn't a complete waste of time. You know as the movie is ending with Jamie on a flight back to Atlanta that her brief time with Charlie, who among other things Jamie gave him a free haircut, would eventually grow into something much bigger; The next time that she decides to visit her friend Samantha, who'll hopefully remember to show up, in the "City of Churches": Brooklyn New York.