Singing | Chicago Reader

Singing

A man flees a candlelit encounter with his girlfriend of 20 years, who no longer turns him on, and plunges into a night of increasingly frightening encounters in this 2000 digital video. San Francisco director Rob Nilsson works with an acting group that includes the homeless, and the members improvise much of their dialogue; the way they talk over each other, their volatile and weirdly pointless arguments, and the sense of a violence just under the surface all make for a rare and incisive realism. Many scenes seem improbable—a man menacing the protagonist with a knife, threatening to rape him; a sudden kidnapping in a taxicab—but the stylistic rawness and the story's descending arc eloquently pose the question of whether apparently well-ordered, middle-class lives are that far removed from the chaos of the streets. 75 min.

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