Reviewed at L.A. Independent Film Festival, April 18, 1999. Running time: 82 MIN.
With: Michael Medeiros, Sylva Kelegian, Glenn English, Terry Keane, Lois Markle, Meir Moskowitz, Samuel Ribeiro, Collette Sible, Scott Rabinowitz, Michelle Bouchard.
Caio Ribeiro’s moody, erratic feature film debut, “Sometime in August,” explores the wistful hopes and frustrations of two mature New York lonely hearts with poetic flourishes but banal dramatics. Displaying an unlikely array of influences, from Neil Simon’s more thoughtful comedies and John Fowles’ erotic literary games to the Brazilian happy-sad style of saudade, pic brandishes ambitions that far exceed its grasp of an intended emotional payoff. A welcome, fully adult entry on the youth-heavy indie market, “August” looks to pop up at fests but will fall under the radar of any theatrical pickup.
Coolly shot and paced with a sensibility more Euro than Gotham, Ribeiro’s tale opens with Marcia (Sylva Kelegian) bitter over her recent, latest breakup. Haunted by the specter of her older self (Terry Keane), she recruits self-styled PI Igor (Michael Medeiros) to spy on her, while she play-acts under a different guise. The gamesmanship reaches an amusing ironic pitch, but never fully intrigues — until a beautiful, abstracted love tryst when Igor and Marcia reveal their real selves. Ribeiro nobly denies them a happy end, but the flat conclusion is no good substitute.