Frank (Shawn Andrews) is coming back to L.A. after some time away. He looks into a job, where the supervisor Larry (Seymour Cassel) says he can have the position " ... on account of you came all this way and you ain't drunk." Frank goes to the apartment he shares with his girlfriend, Rita, but she isn't there. He leaves her a note every time he steps out, but she doesn't seem to be getting them. And as Frank gets from point a to point b riding the busses and walking the sunburnt streets of Los Angeles, we have to wonder where he's going and where he's coming from. ...

Written and directed by Ben Rodkin, Big Heart City consciously evokes the 'beautiful loser' cinema of the 1970s, from the unrepentantly conflicted nature of Frank's character down to the presence of longtime John Cassavetes collaborator Cassel. Shot on 16 millimeter film -- a rarity in the digital video age -- Big Heart City not only has the grit and grain of old-school technology but the grit and grain of old-school storytelling. Frank goes to work; he goes to the track; he rehearses the stories he tells Larry, although we can't be sure if he's trying extra hard to convince Larry or convince himself. And the longer Frank waits for Rita, the more we see him bend and break under the strain of cruel hope.
categories Reviews, Cinematical