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(2002) rated: NR

Director: Chris Mich

Starring: Marie Osmond and [the alphabet].

Synopsis: A sequel to the award winning avant-garde film MFL, Character is a digital video showcasing individual letters of the alphabet as objects of art. Existing on everything from tatoos to tombstones, these Characters are isolated in a strangly active world. Character is edited to Paul A. Oehlers' experimental composition entitled Residual Impact.

Review: Avant-garde films, by their own definition, don't usually become very popular. That being said, Character is a wonderful and even entertaining example of the genre. Its not for everyone, but I found it to be more compelling than your typical avant-garde fair.

The film works with a simple progression of letters displayed on screen. They come in various guises, and at times, its difficult to find the letter in the shot. Often there is some sort of action that obscures the characters. Sometimes its just a strange angle. One character in particular caught my attention. Its an "M", displayed on a slight angle and slightly out of focus. Slowly the letter comes into focus, and slowly, you are able to better make out what the letter is.

Displaying letters on screen may sound boring, but director Chris Mich shows a lot of creativity. The music is also interesting - heavily concentrated on steel drums, Residual Impact relies on density and timbre, rather than pitch.

Again, a film like this is a challenge, but Character is up to it. Its more absorbing that I would have thought possible, given the seemingly limited subject matter.

• Character was shot solely on Saturday, January 12, 2002 in Wilmington, DE and Chester County, PA.

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