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A little poetry is a dangerous thing

Release Date: June 26, 2000 (Avignon Film Festival in France)

Genres: Comedy, Romance

Production Company: Separate Star

Cast: Teri Lamm, Ryan Dunn, Bridget Moynahan, Vivienne Benesch, Rob Gerlach, Holter Graham, Robin Dorian, Michael Hayward-Jones, Sarah Winkler, Ed Vassallo, Gordon Elliott, Charles Tuthill, Beth Zetlin, Kat Gang.

Director/Writer: Michael Bergmann

In modern day Manhattan, a roster of classical entities (Muses, Fate, Fame, Fortune, Time, etc.) co-exist with mortals. Allissandra (Teri Lamm), a Muse, is prostrate with grief over a decree by Fate (Ryan Dunn) that her lover, young composer Ralph, be cut down in his prime. Fate -- a (literally) calculating bitch who works out the math of mortal destinies on a chalkboard in Central Park -- refuses to rescind her decree, adding that the composer in question is, uh, "already decomposing."

The late Ralph's friends and admirers include John (Ed Vassallo) and Zoe (Sarah Winkler), a pair of novelists who have been married for nearly seven years; John's friend, Jonas (Charles Tuthill), a musician and conductor; English museum curator Cedric (Gordon Elliott); and Cedric's much younger girlfriend, Karen (Kat Gang), a painter.

Two young beauties enter the picture: Fame (Bridget Moynahan) and Fortune (Vivienne Benesch), who promise to lavish attention on Ralph's music. Scenario offers imaginative explanations for the appearance of works of genius throughout history and why certain mortals create great art or, failing that, are handed great careers.

Since bummed-out Allissandra is unable to get on with her work inspiring artistic types, Zoe and her husband are both experiencing writer's block. Zoe secretly cooks up an e-mail alter ego who sends fan mail to John, and, when John takes the bait, both writers overcome their blocks.

Allissandra realizes her true beef is with Fate and enlists the help of Fame, Fortune, Cause & Effect (Robin Dorian) and a male Muse named David (Holter Graham) to back imperious Fate into an interesting wager, the outcome of which concerns Zoe, David and two of their respective friends.

Propelling and abetting the Shakespearean-tinged shenanigans, Doug Scofield's lilting yet noble score -- including the very funny "Suffering Cantata" -- is enormously appealing. Pic, shot and screened on DV, looks fairly good. A transfer to film is imminent.

Read Variety's review of the film.

Buy the soundtrack

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