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Inside/Out

With hardly any dialogue, and seductive black-and-white cinematography, writer-director Rob Tregenza shows rather than tells a sort of love rhombus between a small-town priest (Tom Gilroy) and three patients at a nearby mental institution. Tregenza has a great talent for choreography and pacing. A scene that consists of a continuous pan , as nurses and patients fight over the arrangement of a group of chairs whilea psychotic rock band plays along with a harp, is a brilliant piece of Altman-esque staging. But lurking under the skin of this art film is a fairly conventional melodrama. If the silent confrontation between the priest, the organist he's fallen for, and her mother had any dialogue, it would be equally at home on Guiding Light. A scene of reconciliation in which the organist teaches her unstable rival a childlike lick at the piano could have dropped out of a Robert Zemeckis flick. Tregenza sometimes shoves the love story into a straitjacket, but his facility with visual narrative is fascinating and even liberating.

 
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