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Criminal

A familiar tale of middle-aged angst and dislocation is given assured treatment in this first feature by David Jacobson, but there may not be too many paying customers willing to participate in the experience. Pic's main asset is the quite beautiful b&w photography by co-producer Wolfgang Held.

With:
Gus ... Ralph Feliciello Gina ... Liz Sherman Marjorie ... Sheila York John ... Eric Reid Tim ... Gianfranco Piras Salesman ... Tim Miller Lover ... Jim Myers Phyllis ... Mikki Moine

A familiar tale of middle-aged angst and dislocation is given assured treatment in this first feature by David Jacobson, but there may not be too many paying customers willing to participate in the experience. Pic’s main asset is the quite beautiful b&w photography by co-producer Wolfgang Held.

Gus (Ralph Feliciello) is a middle-age man in a dead-end job, married to the demanding Marjorie (Sheila York), who wants him to buy an ugly suburban house he can’t afford. On an impulse, he steals money from his firm and makes the down payment. When he returns home to tell Marjorie the good news, he discovers her in the shower with a lover.

So he hits the road, winding up in the Niagara Falls area of upper New York, where he meets Gina (Liz Sherman), a maid at a hotel there, who has fallen out with her boyfriend, John (Eric Reid). Gus and Gina share a bed and some dreams of the future for a few hours, but inevitably Gus, a born loser, is going nowhere.

It’s not exactly original material, and the actors are forced to make the best of stock characterizations. But the moody atmosphere of upper New York State, and especially the Niagara Falls region, is evocatively caught.

Tech credits are generally good on what was obviously a low-budget effort.

Criminal

Production: A Mallan Film production. Produced by David Jacobson, Wolfgang Held. Executive producers, Alex Jacobson, Beate Veldtrup, Peter Franz Steinbach. Directed, written by David Jacobson.

Crew: Camera (b&w), Held; editor, David Jacobson; production design, Manuel Wilhelm; sound, John Murray; creative consultant, Chaim Bianco; assistant director, Sepideh Farsi. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Forum section), Feb. 16, 1994. Running time: 79 MIN.

With: Gus ... Ralph Feliciello Gina ... Liz Sherman Marjorie ... Sheila York John ... Eric Reid Tim ... Gianfranco Piras Salesman ... Tim Miller Lover ... Jim Myers Phyllis ... Mikki Moine

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