Rhythm Thief (1994)

MATTHEW HARRISON

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB

USA, 1994. Screenplay by , Matthew Harrison. Cinematography by . Produced by . Music by , , , . Production Design by . Costume Design by . Film Editing by Matthew Harrison.

Gritty tale of life in the Big, Bad Apple shot on a very low budget, and it shows in the primitive monochrome cinematography. makes a living selling bootleg music on a street corner, further surviving by scrounging for food before going back to his crummy apartment that has no furniture and just a mattress on the floor to sleep on. He’s having a sexual affair with , a woman who enjoys their time together but with whom he feels no deeper connection, and is distraught when , a sweet, slightly naïve girlfriend from his old neighbourhood shows up looking to reconnect. Things heat up for him when he is beaten up by the members of a band whose performances he has unlawfully recorded, forcing Daniels to step in and help save him from himself. The film has a tight energy to it that is impressive and the actors all pull their archetypes off with flair, but veers between rough or quirky, but without any softer moments it comes across as also lacking much perception, a shallow experiment in style whose emphasis on pace over substance eventually gets tiresome.

Toronto International Film Festival: 1994

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