Waydowntown (2000)

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Released 21-Apr-2004
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Shot in jittery, supersaturated digital video, Gary Burn's waydowntown infuses the nine-to-five ritual with a palliative pharmaceutical rush, channeling the endemic coffee-addled buzz and narcotized haze into a hallucinogenic waking life.

The film transpires over day 24 of a contest between Calgary co-workers to see who can stay indoors the longest within the city's massive downtown walkway system. The competitors—whose actual occupations remain a mystery—are reaching their breaking points.

Twentysomething Tom (Fabrizio Filippo), a snide trainee with a superhero fixation, keeps spotting a caped crusader out of the corner of his eye. Go-getter Sandra (Marya Delver), lightheaded from the re-circulated air, obsessively clutches a tear-out perfume sampler to her nose. Tom's cubicle-mate, lifer schlub Bradley (Don McKeller), is left out of the bet but seems to be contemplating a final wager with himself.

Burns renders Calgary's glass-enclosed complex as a giant vacuum: vast, anonymous, and stifling. A dark edge of claustrophobic crisis marks even casual encounters - Tom's ambivalent flirtation with vampy mallrat (Tammy Isbell) is punctuated by her abrupt retreat into soundproof booth for a cleansing holler. With wit and empathy to spare, waydowntown acknowledges the silent screams of workaday inertia but stops short of indulging its characters' striving solipsism. Nothing here is the end of the world, just the close of another squandered day.
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Fab Filippo
Don McKellar
Marya Delver
Gordon Currie
Jennifer Clement
Tammy Isbell
Tobias Godson
James McBurney
Nick Cleary
Brian Stollery
Michelle Beaudoin
Judith Buchan
Mike Eberly
Directed by
Gary Burns
John Abram
Genre Year Running Time Format Region Coding
Comedy 2000 ? ? 4
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