Union City Film Details
Overview: A man is so obsessed with finding the person responsible for stealing his milk bottles that he ignores his beautiful young wife, who has other ideas on her mind.
Tagline: A story of murder and paranoia
Review: Harlan a whinny repressed accountant lives with his adorably bored housewife Lillian in an apartment building in New Jersey. Somebody is stealing a sip out of their milk bottle every morning and Harlan becomes obsessed in trying to capture the culprit. Although his plan becomes unstuck when the unspeakable happens and soon his trying to put the horrific deed behind him. Although it’s harder than he thinks and it’s taking on a toll on his already fractured relationship with Lillian. She dreams off escaping this life and she sees this opportunity with her relationship with building superintendent Lance. After my long awaited viewing, I’m left rather bemused by it all. Obviously it’s going to be a love or hate affair. Your pick. I’m leaning more towards the former. I just don’t think there’ll be much middle ground. You can easily see that “Union City” is perfect for repeat viewings to get a hold of every little, significant detail. Think of early David Lynch like “Easerhead” and you’ll know what I mean about being technically limited and strangely dark. Some shots you can clearly see the boom mike appear and it can be distracting. People might say that the technical side of the production is what brings it down and I can see were they’re getting at. Otherwise with what Reichert had to work with, he did a resourcefully able job. On that front what we get is a highly moody neo-noir, art-house piece that’s on a zero budget and benefits from it’s cheaply few, claustrophobic sets in drumming up that anxious, glum and bizarre nature stemming off the film’s peculiar characters and storyline. The oddball premise is taken off Cornell Woolrich’s 1937 short story “The Corpse Next Door”, which goes on to share some similarities to Poe’s “The Telltale Heart”. So it’s all about the progressive guilt and stress of a secret that eventually cracks to lead to ones own self-destruction. Also the obsession of one task, leads to the breakdown in communication of the one thing, which needs the attention. He takes his wife for granted, as nothing more than a material object. The emotionally engaging story mingles with these cards rather neatly with precision and a wryly-black sense of humour. While having a creaky structure, the jittery rhythm and awkward turns only enhanced the film’s magnetic atmosphere and credibly crafty approach. This is one of those mellow exercises that you have to have patience, as the film’s momentum leisurely ticks along and it’s filled with long stretches of silence. Can be quite a drag, if you’re not geared up for it. The script is pretty sparse and when there’s dialogue its mostly quite trivial. Director Marcus Reichert paints an edgy picture that dabbles in the surreal without losing that serious touch, but visually he mixes the lighting, colour scheme and tight camera-work to convey the ever-changing tenor. From grafting away tension to letting the time slowly go by. Reichert’s stylised feel makes it way into the performances. Dennis Lipscomb’s exceptional portrayal as the erratically selfish Harlan sticks out compared to the deadpan performances of the rest. This suits how his paranoid character is effecting the actions of those around him. The fetchingly sincere Deborah Harry (in her film debut role) is suitably solid in a sensitively frustrated housewife seeking a way out of the unhappy marriage. It didn’t turn out to be much of a stepping stone for her film career, despite her strong presence. Everett McGill gives a likable, level-head performance as the building superintendent Lance. Providing reasonable support are CCH Pounder and Sam McMurrey. Of small interest Pat Benatar shows up in a minor role towards the end. There were another recognizable names that tagged along for the ride. You had Monty Montgomery as creative producer and Kathryn Bigelow as script supervisor. Also Chris Stein (Deborah Harry’s fellow band member of Blondie) chips in with an effectively wistful music score that uncannily experiments with a variety of music styles. Namely a smooth blues flavor. This influentially quirky Indie flick is a hard one to recommend, but there are enough elements and a very unhinged tone for cult fans to get something out of this unconventional foray.
Duration: 87 min
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Mystery, Romance
Also known as: Nachts in Union City,Union City,Liket i rummet bredvid