Living in ‘Blue’ Oblivion of Society
Keith Reddin’s film noir-inspired drama, “Almost Blue,” is about a special sort of oblivion in the seamy realm of society’s fringe. It’s where an ex-con named Phil (Christian S. Leffler) attempts to escape from his memories into an alcoholic stupor only to find his moments of sobriety complicated by people who may or may not be dead.
Director Bart DeLorenzo has created a stylish, dingy world with slight suggestions of comic books and pulp fiction that relieve the otherwise unrelenting darkness of Reddin’s piece.
Phil once committed a crime that haunts him still, and he longs for prison and punishment. A husky-voiced blond (Laura D’Arista) who once knew him returns and displays an inexplicable lust for him. A writer of pornographic literature named Blue (Tom Fitzpatrick) shows an over-possessive concern for Phil. And a man (Tim Streeter) with a dangerous request also pushes his way into Phil’s life.
DeLorenzo wisely anchors this piece on the edgy codependency between Phil and Blue. Leffler is a snarling, wounded man. The oddly genteel Fitzpatrick attempts to comfort him.
Reddin sets redemptive sacrifice against selfish motivations and mixes them into a toxic brew, telling us that “honesty is important” and “sex is fleeting.” Disturbing, but wonderfully atmospheric.
* “Almost Blue,” Evidence Room, 3542 Hayden Ave., Culver City. Thursdays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Ends Oct. 26. $15. (310) 841-2799. Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes.