DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

FRAMEUP (director/writer: Jon Jost; cinematographer: Jon Jost; editor:  Jon Jost; music:  Jon A. English; cast: Howard Swain (Ricky-Lee Gruber), Nancy Carlin (Beth-Ann Bolet), Richard Reynolds (Motel desk clerk), Kate Sannella (Clerk); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Henry S. Rosenthal; World Artists; 1993)

"The experimental film is shot in an unusual way... ."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A mind-fuck comedy by low-budget indie director Jon Jost ("The Bed You Sleep In"/"All The Vermeers in New York"/"Sure Fire"), before he exits the country for a long stay in Europe. It spoofs Hollywood's take on couples who go on crime sprees (think Badlands, Gunplay and Natural Born Killers), as it follows a shallow loser couple who are aimlessly traveling across the beautiful Pacific Northwest and are content at stopping off at motels to fuck like bunnies. The quirky pic is filled with long soliloquies from each about their life experiences, romantic dispositions and life philosophies, as the air-head Beth-Ann (Nancy Carlin), with a whiny voice, and jailbird Ricky-Lee (Howard Swain), a cocky petty career criminal, tell how they met in Idaho, where Beth worked as a diner waitress and she fell in love immediately with customer Ricky and his pick-up line. The easy to please Beth is a loyal reader of the drugstore romance novels, while Ricky supports them with an occasional convenience store stick-up during their journey. Beth considers California paradise and dreams of visiting its landmark tourist places and beaches. Lover-boy Ricky aims to please his woman and takes her to California in a stolen car, but fucks up big time when he botches a convenience store stickup.

The experimental film is shot in an unusual way, making it both technically efficient and interesting. The couple's mindless freewheeling road adventure is narrated in an unconventional way, leaving no room to glorify such rebels as is the want of most Hollywood films.

REVIEWED ON 9/24/2013       GRADE: B

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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