Supporting Characters: Personal and Professional Frissons, Sharply Etched
In Daniel Schechter's Supporting Characters, the non-featured players of the title are a pair of film editors whose behind-the-scenes craftsmanship has the ability to make potentially disastrous projects passable. Since Schechter cut this film himself, Supporting Characters is presumably unaffected by the director/editor tension it dramatizes—and, happily, it's more than passable. Starring Alex Karpovsky and co-writer Tarik Lowe, the film charts longtime New York–based editors Nick and Darryl's relationships with each other, with their respective romantic partners, and with the cast and crew of the film they're working on over the course of a tumultuous postproduction stint. Frequently funny, Schechter's movie is also shrewd in its handling of the tensions between longtime friends and co-workers as professional opportunities dwindle and off-the-job romantic drama trickles into the cutting room. Although the low-grade DV doesn't do the film any favors, and there are some dispiriting off-the-mark moments (can we call a moratorium on jokes blaming female behavior on "that time of the month"?), in its sharply etched sketches of personal and professional frissons, Supporting Characters belies the modesty of both its lo-fi setup and its self-effacing title.
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