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Sigma

Maintaining suspense from start to finish is never easy, and telling an entire story largely through split-screen effects is seldom advisable. So it's no surprise the energy of Jesse Heffring's "Sigma" is more impressive than the story is exciting or involving. Still, thriller holds the attention, suggesting helmer might be ready for bigger-league assignments.

With:
With: Colin Walsh, Marilyn Perreault, Alexander Cajuste, Frank Schorpion, Patricia McKenzie, Alaen Bruno, Nathaie Matteau.

Maintaining breathless, time-running-out suspense from start to finish is never easy, and telling an entire story largely through split-screen effects is seldom advisable. So it’s no big surprise the sheer energy of writer-director-producer Jesse Heffring’s second DV feature “Sigma” is more impressive than the story is exciting or involving. Still, headlong thriller holds the attention, suggesting helmer might be ready for bigger-league assignments. Vid lensing and multiple-image tact make current pic a problematic prospect for both big and small screens.

In an airport lounge, Dr. Adam Lemay (Colin Walsh) is suddenly confronted by a babbling stranger who expires after handing over proof the doc’s wife is trapped in a sort of drowning pool. She’ll die unless he completes a series of baffling, exhausting tasks that involve myriad locations, vehicles, perils and other panicked individuals. Finale reveals some sort of giant conspiracy involving artificial intelligence. Despite all frantic movement (alternating with stationary surveillance-camera B&W), pic lacks a sense of real danger — Adam’s unending chase comes off more like a scavenger hunt or elaborate prank a la David Fincher’s “The Game.” Yet jittery pace and visual gambits remain diverting.

Sigma

Canada

Production: A Quietus Films production. Produced, directed, written by Jesse Heffring.

Crew: Camera (color/B&W, DV), Pawel Pogorzelski; editors, Ralph Arida, Heffring; music, Nathaniel Hebert; production designer, Melanie Garcia. Reviewed at San Francisco Indie Film Festival, Feb. 12, 2005. Running time: 80 MIN.

With: With: Colin Walsh, Marilyn Perreault, Alexander Cajuste, Frank Schorpion, Patricia McKenzie, Alaen Bruno, Nathaie Matteau.

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