First-time helmer Boris Mojsovski's broody pic follows three stories imagined by three artists -- a writer, a film director and a painter -- with the same actors appearing and reappearing, in different incarnations, in all three episodes.

First-time helmer Boris Mojsovski’s broody pic follows three stories imagined by three artists — a writer, a film director and a painter — with the same actors appearing and reappearing, in different incarnations, in all three episodes. Mojsovski is entranced with arty dissolves, slow dollies in and pans up, and film routinely crosscuts between plotlines. Despite a short stint in a subway car where all three artists and their characters commingle, each vignette remains mired in its own discrete morbidity. Distribution prospects look dim.

Two of the tales concern Yugoslavs in exile, people who, like the director, emigrated from war-torn Sarajevo to make a new life in Canada. A strung-out actor grapples with his dead-end career, his closeted homosexuality and tons of televangelist-induced guilt. A lonely young woman, attracted to the man who repaired her window, takes up a hammer to manufacture a reason to call him again — only to be rejected. The only figure not completely awash in shame and humiliation is a Canadian professor who commits suicide by skydiving.

Three and a Half

Canada

Production

A Summer Pictures production. Produced by Tom Strnad. Directed by Boris Mojsovski. Written by Mojsovski, Ryan Redford, Mike Thorn.

Crew

Camera (color), Levko Mojsovski; editors, Tom Strnad, Thorn; music, Bill Halliday; production designer, Lisa Laratta. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (Panorama Canada), Aug. 24, 2002. English and Serbo-Croatian dialogue. Running time: 85 MIN.

With

Kim Huffman, Don Allison, Barbara Gordon, Walter Alza, Santino Buda.
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