By Rory L. Aronsky | February 13, 2005

In the universe, Sirius, also known as the Dog Star, is the brightest star next to the sun, as Dogstar (Jon Jacobs) is told by his hippie father, who exclaims about and explains the wonders of the universe to him in flashback as a boy. Living in a remote Colorado home with his outrageous brother, Astro (Gabriel Jewel), his mother and her boyfriend, but never leaving his room, Dogstar finds solace in sketching designs of diamonds as well as the beginnings of what will become a collage, after meeting Gabrielle (J.C. Brandy) who sports a diamond in her nose and becomes interested in her.

Dogstar resides with quite a strange family, with Astro preferring upfront confrontations with no niceties whatsoever. He gets in people’s faces, even Dogstar at times, while constantly hounding his mother for money, and doesn’t really batten down his actions, or realize the consequences they breed. Gabrielle on the other hand, seems to be a new light for Dogstar, someone more enchanting and exhilarating than the stars in the universe. However, what Dogstar doesn’t quite pick up on until Astro forces him to face the matter is that Gabrielle is a junkie with very little hope. When she returns from a night with Dogstar, she says to one of her friends that she needs to find a job, but it won’t happen.

Jacobs has managed once again to put forth a fine performance, as is common with many of his other films, especially “Lucinda’s Spell” as a descendant of Merlin, a film with its own kind of magic. Still hanging on to his ever-reliable accent though toned down a bit here, he seems content in the role, looking out among the stars and dreaming, like all of us do. Dreaming about the endlessness in the universe, punctuated by the use of a score that evokes the feeling of floating in space, passing by the stars without the assistance of the Hubble Telescope. It is a droll character study that at times feels like it is indeed its own little universe, far removed from the tics and traits inherent in the human species on Earth, floating in its own time and space.

Included on the DVD is the trailer for “Dogstar”, along with 11 other releases from Zero Pictures, including “The Girl with the Hungry Eyes” and “Prometheus Bound”. “Zero Story” lets various filmmakers speak about the process of making movies for Zero Pictures, and “Project Entropia” gives the word on an interactive virtual online world. Put the DVD in especially for “Dogstar”, but don’t forget the trailers.

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