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YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Canada, 1991 (MIFF 1992)

Director: Blaine Allan

A detective story about the search for a missing person, told (torn the point of view of the missing person," is how writer and director Blaine Allan describes this extraordi­nary road movie cum film noir. Elusive, enig­matic, haunting and meditative, the film is a maze of inconclusive plots, vague connections and tantalizing possibilities.

A missing (and altogether invisible) man, Price, has absconded to a warmer climate with a large sum of money. His wife hires the detec­tive Politzer to the case. Price sends his wife messages, along with tape recordings and pho­tographs, that suggest he wants to be found. Politzer, who has never been south of Niagara Falls, follows his trail through the deserts of the American south-west, the empty spaces of Texas, Graceland and, ultimately, home.

This journey across a strange land is depicted through suitably unconventional means. Static images, which look like they've bleached while the camera was running, fill the screen, yet the pregnant pauses as we wait for something to happen create an almost excruci­ating tension. There's very little spoken dia­logue, yet the soundtrack is a continuous barrage of voices and dialogues that emanate from the immediate surroundings; radios, din­ers, passers-by; an army of inner-voices recit­ing poetic, home-spun homelies, as ephemeral as they are poignant and profound.

Blaine Allan teaches at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, where he made the film with the assistance of students and campus facilities, over a five year period on a "ridicu­lously small" budget. Despite, or possibly because of this,You Are Not Alone is one of the most deliriously enigmatic and mysterious films to come along in a long, long time.

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