By Merle Bertrand | February 7, 2000

The signature artwork on the “Crosswalk” promotional material features a stylized stick figure standing next to a crossword puzzle. That’s about as appropriate as it gets, as this extraordinary black comedy weaves an incredibly intertwined tale dripping with irony and “what-ifs.” Harold Moss (Joe Stevens), estranged from his daughter, has a failing liver and about six months left to live. David Hiatt (Jonathan Scarf) has a young wife, a little girl, no job, and very little hope. When David finds out his bank has turned him down for a desperately needed loan, he sets out to rob the joint with virtually no plan. As coincidence would have it, Harold’s at that same bank to close his account. Sensing that David’s in big trouble, and with nothing to lose, Harold apathetically offers himself as a hostage to help the panicked kid escape. Unfortunately, things go horribly wrong from there, forcing Harold to make a selfless choice that will haunt him for however long he still has to live. This is the third time I’ve seen this thinker of a film by Lance Larson and I’m still picking up previously undetected little ironic tidbits and subtle snatches of minor but crucial subplots that link the whole thing together. Smart, strikingly photographed, packed with interconnected storylines, and totally worthy of the rumored feature version hopefully in the works, “Crosswalk” is a nearly perfect cinematic spin on a certain five-letter word that means, “incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the expected result.”

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