Saturday, June 11, 2011

No Time To Be Normal

Trying to get a grip on what's “normal” these days? Don't ask Jacob.

He's the flawed hero of Yuri Tsapayev's new film, Contractor's Routine, which might be the least routine or normal movie you'll ever see.

If you've noticed that what people consider normal is probably already out of style, you've got to catch this flick.

So go ahead, take a break from trying to be "normal." Enjoy this new-fangled morality play, about a San Francisco craftsman whose fantasy life (for starters) resolutely skirts morality. This guy wants to go beyond just being normal to knowing what makes the creative person tick, then acting on it.

You be the judge of how successful Jacob is.

•So it's normal for a guy to fantasize about having sex with a beautiful woman. But a paranoid woman who's worried about her husband?

•And it's okay for someone to want to sing in a choir. But Jacob has a serious handicap.

•Lots of people are collectors, too, and fascinated by unusual collections. But he's over the top.

•We can all use a sensible Jiminy Cricket to keep us from excessive or anti-social behavior. But how many of them follow us around making snide remarks in costume?

•We all appreciate a cool and refreshing glass of water first thing. But is this where you get yours?

This day-in-the-life story is a pretty straightforward suspense narrative. It peeks into the world of an attractive young contractor as he deals with aggressive drivers, veneered mahogany and shaved fingertips.

But the only character ready to consider all the angles and repercussions of an artist's life (played by Hollywood superstar Tom Sizemore) never gets out of a straight-jacket.

Surrender. Stop wondering about how normal you have to be to be a star. Let Jacob tell you.

By Carey Giudici

Monday, June 6, 2011

Top Ten Reasons To See Contractor's Routine

Top Ten Reasons To See Contractor's Routine.

(Now at Lumiere Theater till June 9th)

By Carey “Trip” Giudici.

Our busy schedules make it a good idea for everyone to do more than one thing at a time.

Here's a good start: go see San Francisco filmmaker Yuri Tsapayev's new very independent and thought-provoking film, Contractor's Routine as soon as you can. After all, where else will you be able to:

Discover what happens when a meteorite drops into your water glass.

Be ready to defend yourself against threatening fantasy lovers.

Begin deciding how you can create again that which you have destroyed.

Learn two novel things to do with a common porcelain appliance.

Become a superior mahogany shopper.

Debate the ethics of Octomom.

Learn why you probably shouldn't join a chorus.

Spot the moment when a habit becomes an addiction.

Answer the question, “Are you even or odd?”

Begin addressing those nagging issues with your mother.

In other words, Yuri Tsapayev's high-energy new film has something for everyone, with an episodic narrative that touches on many key challenges of being an individual today.

In bursts of color, concepts and movement, it shows the protagonist Jacob and his alter ego Esau discuss the best way to refit the universe.

And it's a morality play, with a series of quixotic appearances by superstar Tom Sizemore as the Art Instructor, about a man running headfirst into uncharted moral territory.

Monday, May 9, 2011

"Contractor's Routine" 's Contribution to Independent Films

What makes indie films so attractive is that they aren't afraid to be obscure. We aren't sheltered by the fears that the large studios in Hollywood might have about what their target audience might want or not want to see. There is more freedom of expression and more exposed emotion. I think it can be difficult for some people to take in because indies are good to displaying emotions and situations that most people hope to never have to deal with, or situations that they've experienced and don't want to face.

People are complicated and we don't always understand each other or why we react differently, which is no surprise. Simple emotions lie at the soul of ever human: happiness, sadness, love, fear, ECT. The problem is rarely do we see people have the exact same ratio of certain emotions at the exact same time, which causes conflict. 

Indie film are great at trying to breakdown this barrier and that's just what the plot of Contractor's Routine does. We're looking at a disturbed man in a typical day of his life. He's trying to make the best of all the emotions and thoughts that he doesn't seem to have total control over. The more you watch, the more you start to come to understand Jacob's actions and you ask yourself why. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer, but I love how his movie lets you feel what Jacob is feeling, knowing that you'll be able to return to yourself once it's over. It's like getting a free ride through the mind of another. Contractor's Routine is the perfect addition to the great indie films that we look back on and remember how we were feeling at that moment as we were watching it. That's what an indie is about, that's what I seek out.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mistakes vs Meantally Unstable

   In "Contractor's Routine" we get to see Jacob's fantasies. These fantasies control him, so to speak, for a short period of time. I think it's safe to say we've all been there; pulling into your driveway and you think "I don't even remember getting off the freeway". But how much do our fantasies, or day dreams, have an impact on our actions? And is that impact positive or negative?

   In the movie we get to see Jacob's reactions to this thoughts and fantasies and they put him in an irked state, causing him to find a way to take out his frustrations. I find my self wondering if his fantasies are a result of his conscious thoughts or if it's the other way around. The human mind is so difficult to understand, especially when it's the mind of someone who his slightly (or greatly) disturbed. You can't get into someone else's head, you can only make assumptions and create judgments/biases from that.
   Jacob struggles to control his actions through the help of his conscious because he knows that these thoughts he has are wrong. Everyone has committed some act that they know was wrong, it's human nature to make a mistake. However, it's the aftermath; the remorse, the conscious effects and how we shape our actions thereafter that have a real say in whether we are mentally stable. What I find scary is that you can think you know someone for so long and they will end up doing something that shocks you. It could be betraying your trust or robbing a bank, but it makes you realize that you have no idea what it going through some one's head. It could even be something that you've done and after the fact you are so ashamed. All in all, who knows? I say don't be quick to judge because it could have been you.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Is Everything We're Seeing Really There?

We've all had those dreams-- the ones  that are all consuming; so real that we can't differentiate them from reality, even after we wake up. Sometimes it's a huge relief when we realize that someone didn't die or that we really didn't get fired. Sometimes it's a huge disappointment to become aware of the fact that some amazing dream didn't happen, or the worst -- you wake up thinking something awful that did happen was actually a dream until reality sets in a few seconds later.

Just how are we able to establish our subconscious mind from our conscious mind? Maybe we're walking around thinking we're seeing something when it's not actually there. Jacob, in "Contractor's Routine", makes me wonder if whether what we're seeing may actually be there or is it just a figment of our imagination. His subconscious is always there by his side making sure he's making the right decisions. We all have that voice inside of us and for the most part I'm pretty sure that I don't have physical signals showing me the way to go, but how do I know for sure?

There could be signals that are so slight and that I may be so used to that it's not something I think about because it just is. We may never know and some will choose to believe the most logical thing because they can make sense of that. However, that could just be their subconscious giving them physical signals so that they know not to question their own subconscious. It certainly blurs the line between imagination and reality.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Symathy for serial killers?

People who kill are condemned in our society; especially when they get some joy out if it. It's impossible to know what is going on in the mind of a serial killer. They usually plan their moves and follow through precisely so that they can get the most enjoyment out of their act.

In "Contractor's Routine" we see a different side to the story and it gives us insight into the reasoning for this serial killer's actions. We get to see parts of his past that have led to his present thoughts that he may try to fight off, but can not completely rid his mind of. I find myself feeling sorry for him. Once I see where he's coming from and where he has been my mind starts to draw conclusions as to why he is the way he is.

This is what brings conflicting feeling within myself. Is it okay to have sympathy for a killer? Even more so, it is okay to have sympathy for a killer that gets a kick out of planning his killing and viewing them as accomplishment? When is killing someone ever okay and can someone who kills for the hell of it ever truly be forgiven?

Monday, April 11, 2011

How does "Contractor's Routine" fit in the indie world?

Indie films are known for their uncensored material and stripped view of human behavior with at times obscure plots. We get to see through the director’s eyes without the Hollywood glam clouding the movie with what the studios think we want. Indie films dare to go places that some find hard to deal with. They attempt to connect with people through crudely depicted stories that follow the artistic thought process behind the film.

    What it so great about “Contractor’s Routine” is that we get to see all the things that makes indies so unique. In the film we see the main character move through a typical day, constantly fighting off the demons that have him contemplating life and the reason behind the actions that we take. We get a raw view of one man’s struggle to make some kind of meaning from the thoughts that move through his head without initiating them; why are we plagued by uncontrollable urges?

Great indie movies of time past had given people the opportunity to see creativity and beauty of what one might find disturbing if seeing it on the street, not being able to understand. I love that we see the heartbreak and dark times that lead up to the character’s warped view of the world. Director Yuri Tsapayev shows us that there are reasons for every action and whatever actions we question of the main character, we are given the deep emotion that continue to haunt him.