Review: ‘Inertia’

Calling a movie "Inertia" only invites trouble, yet tyro helmer Sean Garrity displays a eccentric yet agreeable comic vision in his tale of twenty-something Winnepeggers buffaloed by love and society. Theatrical prospects may be limited by that very quirkiness, but fests anxious for a new voice in Canuck cinema will want to have a look.

Calling a movie “Inertia” only invites trouble, yet tyro helmer Sean Garrity displays a briskly eccentric yet agreeable comic vision in his tale of twenty-something Winnepeggers buffaloed by love and society. Theatrical prospects may be limited by that very quirkiness, but fests anxious for a clear new voice in Canadian cinema will want to have a look, and item will play well on the small screen.

In Manitoba’s capital city, water department worker Joseph moons for ex-g.f. Laura, now infatuated with the married Bruce, who in turn is hot for Joseph’s 19-year-old cousin, Alex. Narrative, built from 30 hours of videotaped improvisations by theatrically trained thesps and chock-full of wry human foibles, is punctuated by shots of traffic and internal infrastructure –the city ticking away as these lives play out. Tech credits are pro, with Garrity employing d.p. Michael Marshall (who shot two of Winnipeg native Guy Maddin’s features) in the sly visual strategy of boxing his characters into their urban environment via blocking and camera angles. Pic won prize for Canadian First Feature at recently wrapped Toronto fest, where jury citation praised Garrity’s “visual flair and comic sensibility.”

Inertia

Canada

Production

An Indian Snack Box production. (International sales: Indian Snack Box Prods., Winnipeg.) Produced by Brendon Sawatzky. Directed, written, edited by Sean Garrity.

Crew

Camera (color), Michael Marshall; music, Richard Moody; production designer, Kim Forrest; costumes, Wanda Farian; sound (Dolby Digital), Russ Dyck. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Perspective Canada), Sept. 14, 2001. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Jonas Chernick, Sarah Constible, Gordon Tanner, Micheline Marchildon.
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