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Short Circuits

Slovenian helmer Janez Lapajne's sophomore effort, "Short Circuits," never sparks to full wattage.

With:
With: Tjasa Zeleznik, Grega Zorc, Jernej Sugman, Sebastijan Cavazza, Boris Cavazza, Mojca Funkl, Vito Taufer, Matija Vastl, Igor Dragar, Masa Derganc, Primoz Ekart, Uros Smolej, Miha Brajnik, Vito Kosir, Tim Dekleva, Barbara Pia Jenic, Lea Menard, Crt Veselko.

Lacking the down-to-earth charm of his first feature, “Rustling Landscapes,” Slovenian helmer Janez Lapajne’s sophomore effort, “Short Circuits,” never sparks to full wattage. Low-budget Ljubljana-set ensembler plays with narrative chronology and various meanings of the title, intercutting stories of connections based on misunderstandings and guilty feelings. There’s a kernel of a good idea here, but it feels as if Lapajne (also co-producer, writer, editor and production designer) couldn’t devote his all to any of his tasks. Apart from fests, pic faces dim prospects.

First storyline concerns a bus driver who finds an abandoned baby, which he keeps while searching for its mother (Tjasa Zeleznik). Next, a beautiful doctor (also Zeleznik) visits a self-pitying paraplegic because she believes her boyfriend caused his accident. Finally, a careless divorced dad faces a life-or-death incident with his son, and loses time when a frightened gas station attendant (Zeleznik again) won’t open the pump after hours. The pic works best as a showcase for Zeleznik, who shines in three challenging roles. Tech credits are bare-bones, particularly the editing, which lacks rhythm and continuity.

Short Circuits

Slovenia

Production: A Triglav Film presentation. (International sales: Triglav, Domzale, Slovenia.) Produced by Aiken Veronika Prosenc, Janez Lapajne. Directed, written by Janez Lapajne.

Crew: Camera (color, DV-to-35mm), Matej Kriznik; editors, Lapajne, Rok Bicek; music, Uros Rakovec; production designer, Lapajne; costume designer, Elena Fajt. Reviewed at Sarajevo Film Festival (competing), Aug. 21, 2007. Running time: 105 MIN.

With: With: Tjasa Zeleznik, Grega Zorc, Jernej Sugman, Sebastijan Cavazza, Boris Cavazza, Mojca Funkl, Vito Taufer, Matija Vastl, Igor Dragar, Masa Derganc, Primoz Ekart, Uros Smolej, Miha Brajnik, Vito Kosir, Tim Dekleva, Barbara Pia Jenic, Lea Menard, Crt Veselko.

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