Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

(USA, 2013, 98 mins, DCP)
International Premiere
Director:
CAST Jesus Sanchez-Velez, Andrea Suarez Paz, Azul Rodriguez, Tenoch Huerta Mejía, Marsha Stephanie Blake
EXEC PRODS Greg Stewart, Henry Kasdon
PRODS Veronica Nickel, Andrew Neel, Dave Saltzman, Craig Shilowich
SCR Rose Lichter-Marck, Micah Bloomberg
CAM Adam Jandrup, Ethan Palmer
ED Talia Barrett
PROD DES Sara K. White
PROD CO M ss ng p eces / SeeThink Films
Classification:
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Ricky, an autistic 13-year-old, embarks on an underground odyssey that would give Orpheus pause: 11 days patiently lost on New York’s subway system, idly drifting through its labyrinthine tunnels and encountering the figures of urban mythology who ride these subterranean rails. Above ground, a frantic search is launched by his guilt-ridden mother (whose scolding may have driven Ricky away from their humble seaside home in Far Rockaway, Queens). With Hurricane Sandy lurking menacingly on the horizon, she has precious little time to locate her son.

Sam Fleischner’s suspenseful and fascinating drama has been celebrated by The New York Times’ Stephen Holden for delivering "as intense and indelible an immersion in the real New York as I have seen in a long time… [The film is] completely, exhilaratingly alive." Furthermore, it represents an incredible example of artistic resourcefulness as Fleischner not only managed the practically impossible task of shooting guerrilla-style on the New York subway (releases were signed between stops), but also rolled with the devastation wrought by a natural disaster, masterfully incorporating it into his already fraught narrative.

"As Engel did 60 years ago, Fleischner uses the latest advances in portable motion-picture technology to capture a real, highly populated heterogeneous location… In its depiction of fragility and resilience, Stand Clear of the Closing Doors rings true from beginning to end without a trace of sentimentality."—Amy Taubin, Film Comment

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Sam Fleischner
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