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By Merle Bertrand | January 22, 2000

A depressed man (Dennis McMorrow) has reached the end of his rope. The lonely, elderly soul wakes up in his sparsely furnished room, rolls his rotund frame out of bed and embarks upon what he intends to be his last day on the planet. Dressed in his Sunday best, he unknowingly dodges a buffoonish pair of car thieves, with the innocent help of a passing boy (Terin Jackson) and drives to his self-designated rendezvous point with infinity. There, he sticks Chet Baker’s melancholy version of “The Thrill Is Gone” into his car’s tape deck, rolls down the windows, draws a big chalk target circle in the middle of the street and climbs to the roof of a nearby building. There he prepares for his terminal swan dive…only to have the boy and the car thieves intervene once again in ways no one could have predicted. David Birdsell has directed a simple but excellent film here; a haunting exercise in synchronicity that you will remember long after viewing. It’s amazing how much mood and empathy McMorrow and Jackson convey, considering that they speak fewer than twenty words between them throughout the entire film. This is no doubt reinforced by Thomas Meyer’s elegant photography and the omnipresent bluish hue that constantly pervades the image. A sweet and moving film, “Blue City” is an unexpectedly uplifting antidote for anyone’s rainy day.

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