Friday, August 31, 2018

Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors. 2014

               A small stunning gem of a movie that hopefully will move you as much as it moved me. Ricky a 13-year-old Latino boy with asperger’s syndrome lives with his hard working mom and slightly older sister whose head is up in the clouds and whose only concern is what costume to wear on Halloween. One day Ricky who is having trouble in school and needs a lot of care decides to take leave of all this and follows a guy with a dragon emblem on the back of his jacket and heads out on a journey on the New York City subway system.  The boy is amazing, smart, charming and talented, we get small glimpses of his beautiful complex drawings which include dragons (which helps to explain his following the young man with the dragon jacket) & sea life especially fish.    His father is not with the family who by the way are illegal immigrants but upstate working at a job, and his mom works hard long hours cleaning rich people’s houses. His sister is charged with watching him, and picking Ricky up at school, but as I indicated she is a typically self-involved teenager, and is lax and lazy when it comes to her brother. They live far out in Rockaway, a desolate ugly place next to a beautiful beach and this is one of the places Ricky loves, along with the neighborhood sneaker store, and these are the first two places his frantic mom goes looking for her missing boy.  Ricky takes to the subway and rides and rides and this is where most of the film takes place and will be familiar and sometimes worrisome to any New Yorker no only in real life but also in the film. On his journey he meets one or two kind people or as is usually the case with the subway, people who are self involved in their own lives and worries to notice let alone care about a young boy riding the beast. The film has a very authentic feel to it, especially in the candid scenes in the subway and around the Rockaway area, and is cast with many non actors including Jesus Sanchez Velez who plays Ricky and has Asperger’s Syndrome himself. This gives his performance extra zest and a doze of reality. The film was underway in its shooting when Hurricane Sandy hit and it plays a part in the film, but does not take it over and the ending should bring a smile to your face. Directed by Sam Fleischner with quiet assurance and technique this is a film to search out for viewing.  


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