Monday, April 03, 2006

Chicago Stories

Chicago Stories (King Productions/Avenue) is a quartet of short stories directed by Duane Edwards. The stories are “The Confession,” “Contest Winner,” “Imagine This,” “Hit & Run.” They are a bit it the style of a gentler Stephen King. I won’t give the loglines here. But I’ll say that a bit of “Glen Garry Glen Ross” and “Always be Closing” in one of the clips, where a salesman really finds out if he’s ballsy or not. There is some irony about the priesthood, and a woman really does a horrible thing, worthy of “Days of our Lives.” Two of the films are in black-and-white, and another uses it; they remind me of the black-and-white scene composition of the famous opening of “Touch of Evil.” Edwards is a finalist in the 2004 Project Greenlight Director’s Contest, with a clip that jerks us around with the unexpected. (Do not confuse this film with the big 2002 Miramax release, “Chicago!”)

The Director's Contest produced ten shorts (each about five minutes long) based on a simple script with generic dialogue involving a conflict and resolution. Many of them were quite dazzling. I believe that the shorts would legally belong to liveplanet.com or to the Weinstein Company, LLC and I would encourage those companies to release a commercial DVD of all of them. You can watch the top three at this link: http://www.liveplanet.com/video_pgltop3shorts.html

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