Projections - Movie Reviews

Suture

With Suture, Scott McGehee and David Siegel (who collaborated in the writing, producing and directing of the film) have, in their own words, "set out to make a meditation on identity and identification... We hope (the film) opens up in a provocative way ideas about the relationship of our interior selves to our exterior selves - ideas about what we mean when we say we know who we are."

The main character of Suture, Clay Arlington (played by Dennis Haysbert of Love Field) emerges from an explosion physically altered and with total amnesia.  The ID's found on his body by the hospital's medical staff belong to a "Vincent Towers."  This gives you some idea of the many obstacles preventing Clay from rediscovering who he is.

In the hospital Clay's physical recovery is aided by plastic surgeon Dr. Renee Descartes (played by Thirtysomething's Mel Harris) who studies photographs and video tapes of Vincent Towers in order to reconstruct Clay's appearance.  Meanwhile, psychiatrist Dr. Max Shinoda (played by Sab Shimono) seeks to reconnect Clay with a life that was never his.  As the film's promoters expressed, "Suture is the story of a constructed character, stitched together out of disparate traces of identity: photo graphs and videotapes, police records, a battered body, a confused amnesiac mind.  It calls into question our most basic assumptions about the nature of identity."

The film is beautifully photographed in black and white.  Its theme of identity is explored in a stimulating, dramatic fashion.  Clay Arlington and Vincent Towers could not be more dissimilar in appearance - Dennis Haysbert (who plays Clay) is a well-built black actor while Michael Harris (who plays Vincent) is a white man of slight build - and this adds to the film's complexity.  The viewer is the only one to observe the two men's lack of resemblance; all other characters in the film readily mistake Clay for Vincent.

Dennis Haysbert is excellent as the severely tested Clay Arlington.  The film offers the viewer a thought provoking theme, a suspenseful storyline and captivating visual effects.

 
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