Quiet City

Quiet City


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

When Jamie (Erin Fisher) arrives in New York City, having travelled all the way from Atlanta, only to discover that the friend who was supposed to meet her isn't there, she doesn't know what to do. It's the middle of the night and she doesn't know her way around. She asks directions from a stranger. He tags along with her, and before long he's inviting her to hang out at his place.

In most films, this would end badly. Quiet City takes those expectations, built up by the movies in defiance of reality, and turns them on their head. It examines the possibilities which open up when two strangers are willing to trust each other. Over the course of 24 hours, Jamie and Charlie (Cris Lankenau) wander through the quiet spaces of the city, visiting friends, exploring parks, living in an NYC we rarely see. Simultaneously they are exploring the social and cognitive spaces around them, forced by their encounter to think about where they are in their lives. Both are in their twenties and experiencing an awkwardness between wanting to have fun like teenagers and wanting to form stronger, more adult relationships. They wonder what will happen when they grow up, but over the course of their time together, though they scarcely notice it, they grow up quite a bit.

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A sort of naturalistic, unsentimental Brief Encounter, Quiet City weaves a complex landscape of ideas and emotions out of a simple thread of story. Central to this is its beautifully written dialogue, which seems absolutely real yet is packed with information, character and humour. The characters are so ordinary that one could easily imagine bumping into them in the street, yet watching them soon becomes captivating. It's rare to see realism meet optimism like this. It's easy to identify with these people, so it's easy to feel uplifted simply by watching them have fun.

A gentle, thoughtful, rewarding drama.

Reviewed on: 18 Jul 2008
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Quiet City packshot
After her friend fails to turn up to meet her, a young woman visiting New York receives help from a stranger and a tentative friendship forms.
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Director: Aaron Katz

Writer: Aaron Katz

Starring: Erin Fisher, Cris Lakenau, Joe Swanberg, Sarah Hellmam, Tucker Stone, Michael Tully, Karrie Crouse

Year: 2007

Runtime: 78 minutes


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