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This review is from: Stranger in Us [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
San Francisco is the melting pot that ingests Anthony, Stephen and Gavin. Stephen (Scott Cox), in his mid-30s, is a fragmented surface on which a battle is waged between an urge to control and the will to be dominated. On a business trip to rural Virginia, he met Anthony (Raphael Barker), a sensitive writer in his mid-20s.
Anthony's romantic idealism drew him to follow Stephen back to San Francisco. His passivity simultaneously attracts and repels the unstable Stephen, creating turbulent and aggressive relations between the two. When this coupling inevitably combusts, Anthony's fragility turns to apathy - although in a foray of aimless night-time encounters, his paths cross with those of Gavin (Adam Perez), an enigmatic 17-year-old hustler.
THE STRANGER IN US unfolds without linear narrative: various scenes interject themselves without any chronological foundation, almost as if they were being reconstructed by the vagaries of our memory. Consequently, there are moments of anguish juxtaposed with humour, sensuality bearing wounds, naïve bliss and bruised pleasures. The strong cast and fresh dialogue work together to forge a unusual collective yet solitary intimacy.
Writer/director Scott Boswell - in this, his impressive début feature film - confidently creates an intriguing assemblage of churning sensibilities. Not for those who seek their reflection in a fairy-tale, the aptly-titled THE STRANGER IN US is otherwise a quietly thoughtful collision of ambiguous passions and irreconcilable identifications.
Extensive DVD extras include a behind-the-scenes feature, an alternative ending, deleted scenes and Scott Boswell's short film, "One Fine Morning".