Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Particles of Truth|
Actors: Gale Harold, Jennifer Elster, Regina Dreyer-Thomas, Susan Floyd, Amy Casanova
Although it barely registered as a blip on the indie-film radar, Particles of Truth should find an appreciative audience on DVD. After a marginal theatrical release and TV showings on the Sundance Channel, Jennifer Elster'... more »
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Odd but compelling tale of two dysfunctional souls
Roland E. Zwick | Valencia, Ca USA | 08/01/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
Jennifer Elster and Gale Howard give beautiful performances in "Particles of Truth," a strange but compelling tale of two emotionally damaged young people who discover one another on the mean streets of bohemian Manhattan.
Lilli is an aspiring artist who suffers from grave misgivings about herself both as an artist and as a person. She finds herself unable to trust people thanks to her troubled upbringing at the hands of her dysfunctional parents. Morrison is a sensitive and talented published author who is so obsessed with cleanliness and germs that he has made himself a virtual prisoner to his apartment and car. In fact, he gathers material for his writing by cruising around town taking down what it is he believes the people around him are thinking. Haltingly, tentatively, Lilli and Morrison grope towards an understanding of one another, hoping that that will lead them to a lasting relationship.
The film, artfully written and directed by Elster herself, is chock full of meaningful moments that reflect on the fragmentation, paranoia and emotional dislocation of modern urban life. It's not only Lilli and Morrison who are filled with feelings of inadequacy and intense self-loathing, but everyone else in the film as well. These include Lilli's perpetually cheerful, intensely religious roommate (Elizabeth Van Meter, who is a dead-ringer for Shelley Duval) who uses both her disposition and her piety as a means of masking her loneliness; the roommate's boyfriend who is a crazed, borderline psychotic; Lilli's AIDS-wracked father who lies dying friendless in a dreary tenement apartment; Lilli's mother who has no emotional connection with her daughter whatsoever; Morrison's father who can't accept the humiliation of losing his job and having his son be more successful than he is; and Morrison's mother, who suffers in silence under the veneer of a devoted wife and upper class socialite. Elster's point seems to be that everyone is dysfunctional in some way or another, and that life is all about accepting the past and embracing one's weaknesses even if that means confronting one's demons in ways that are bound to cause intense emotional pain and suffering. By film's end, some of those characters have taken steps to achieving that goal while others continue to languish in their own personal prisons.
Like many well-meaning independent features, "Particles of Truth" seems a little too impressed with itself at times for its own good. Occasionally it exudes an aura of smug pretentiousness, particularly in its obsession with weirdness for weirdness' sake. The ending also seems a trifle on the pat side, although, commendably, Elster leaves a number of loose ends hanging around to reinforce the overall truthfulness of her vision.
But these are minor criticisms of a film that is, for the most part, very well acted and filled with profound insights into human nature. With "Particle of Truth," Elster proves herself a triple-threat talent who will bear serious watching."
Particles of Truth is a must see!
Shannon N. Roach | Riverside, Califorina | 09/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a Gale Harold fan and want to see him be different from Brian Kinney I suggest you see this movie!!!! Even though the movie isn't all about him he is in it enough. Gale gives a great performance and so does Jennifer, very well directed. Gale is shy, adborable, and his relationship with Jennifer's character was real and something you could relate to. There isn't really that good of extras except that there is comentary from Gale and Jennifer and it is funny. The movie flows very well and it is one of Gale's best works."
I thought the movie was very real and spellbinding.
R. Morrison | Sherman Oaks, CA | 08/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I thought both of the leads were great--especially Harold. However Elster was great as well. I never understand why folks compare an indie film where the director had true limitations, and compares them to high budget fims. Gale Harold especially has this intangible quality this is so alluring and honest, it is truly a joy to watch him--he moves me and I have believed every role I have seem him play. He is such a great actor, I hope he doesn't become super-famous, but a great character actor which I can see so easily. Morover--I hope Gale gets a chance to show his incredible acting chops as his good looks could be a detriment in this culture. Elster was so raw and honest, I felt everything she was thinking as she worked through her pain--she was fantastic.
I was impressed!"
Lucky enough to have caught it on Sundance Channel
C. Collins | Columbus, Oh | 07/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I managed to record it, but I want the DVD too. Every time I watch it (and it stands up to almost obsessive re-watching!), I find new layers of symbolism surrounding, or complexity in the characters. (Dying father looks like Jesus on the cross... As Lilli opens herself, the lillies in her father's room revive... I know, I know... those are the easy ones.) Even the music was carefully chosen for both lyrics and mood in EVERY scene.
Most people will have an initial knee-jerk reaction of distaste to a few of the characters. Even Flora's "bi-polar, psycho boyfriend," however, is desperately, pathetically grasping for his own twisted definition of masculine identity. He gets what he deserves, of course. Mostly, though, because of their flaws and redemptions, every character is perfectly human. We've seen the surfaces of all these "walled-in" people in our own lives. This film lets us really know them and care about them.
This movie is not only engaging, and "entertaining," (as in "I watch movies to be entertained, not for all the psychobabble yadda yadda yadda.") (to each his own, I guess), this movie is also as finely crafted as any cinemaphile could want."