Steel Notes Magazine Spring 2017 - Page 48

Steel Notes Magazine Spring 2017 do during one robbery, simple instructions anybody could follow. It doesn’t register with smart- alecky Blondy and the humor between him and Morris keeps building. Morris and the thieves gather around in Solitaire (2008) More appealing and fresh is the introduction of another thief, Ruby (Juliana Fraioli), who is stopped by Nick after successfully stealing a VHS copy of “Bonnie and Clyde” (she also steals breadsticks from a restaurant since it is a “necessity not a want”). Their romance is sweet, tender and sincere, something I did not expect either. In a way, it proves that “Solitaire” is more of a coming-of-age story with young seemingly tough kids who are trying to find themselves. Nick lacks any real communication with his mother whereas Ruby sees a therapist every once in a while. Between the seemingly criminal elements of the story (drugs eventually figures into the action), lots of rhapsodic discussion on “Titanic” and references to Monica Lewinsky (remember this is set in 1998) and a tender love story at its center, “Solitaire” is hardly a trivial picture and deserves a bigger audience. It is sensitively directed by Victor Franko with special attention paid to the characters, sometimes in long, unbroken shots. Major kudos to the late Marilyn Chambers as a suspicious cop who might know who is responsible for the string of video store robberies -- she is damn convincing and every moment with her keeps you glued to the screen. The black- and-white cinematography and jazz beats add to the atmosphere; color and a techno electronic score might have ruined it. There is a possibility that some of this is meant as a slight homage to Tarantino and Kevin Smith (hence, the titles with definitions of simple words, not to mention the comic-book panels during the opening credits). Still, director Victor Franko finds his own 48 Steel Notes Magazine