David Ige played the writer as a frenetic, insecure creature, perpetually hunched in misery or self-defense. He moved stiffly, like an Ed Sullivan parody. His whole body was tensed, and it was startling when he finally began to relax and stand up straight. T.D. White was charismatic as the producer, who had both wonderfully nasty lines and the task of weaving an enticing web of temptation; occasional lapses of memory only slightly marred a mesmerizing performance. He brought subtlety and conviction to a part which could have been reduced to a caricature of evil. The film's director was played by Kathleen Gates, who balanced the tough, even bitchy character with a touch of suppressed tenderness. The Brothers Karamazov were a kind of bickering vaudeville act, nicely done by Jerry Jaffe and Martin Rudy. Antonia Stout played an ambitious actress with a kind of cold-blooded naivete, Ari Tomais was her leading man and a grasping hotel manager, and Jess Hanks played the only truly sensible person in the bunch, a waiter who doesn't want to be in show business.
The set converted cleverly from a seedy hotel room, clearly furnished from the streets, to luxurious accommodations with a touch of art deco. The budget was clearly limited, and no attempt was made at complete realism, but the overall effect was very successful. Costumes, designed by Mary Marsicano, were excellent; they not only helped to establish character, but they told part of the story, as in the change from the sloppy faded jeans and Shadowbox sweatshirt on the aspiring Off-Broadway writer to the pretentious European-style suit he wears in his quest to become a movie writer. The no-frills lighting was designed by Ian Gordon.
Copyright 1996 Maya T. Amis
Return to OOBR Index
Return to Home Page