Vicious Circle - Directed by Paul Boyd.
The life of 18-year-old RJ (Paul Rodriquez), an artist who dreams of moving to New York City, gets involved with gangsters in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the cops blame him for the murder of his girlfriend, Angel (Emily Rios), so he goes on the run from them as his life continues to spiral downward. The film opens as RJ tries to shoot himself in front of a mirror wearing a blood-soaked shirt. Just as youíre left wondering what tragic event led up to that moment, the plot flashes back to when RJ starts a relationship with Angel and the two seem like they have a promising future together. None of the twists or surprises will be revealed here, but itís worth mentioning that first-time writer/director Paul Boyd does a superb job of building suspense and creating a raw, intense atmosphere that keeps you at the edge of your seat. He also adds some brilliantly imaginative animated sequences along the way. It may not have anything truly profound or new to say about modern teenagers and violence, but what makes the film truly work, though, is how the screenplay combines to the genres of action, thriller, drama and romance so effectively. Winner of the Best Picture award at the 2008 HBO New York International Film Festival, Vicious Circle never ceases to entertain with its amazing visual style and smart, intricate plot structure which leaves you feeling invigorated. Number of times I checked my watch: 0. No distributor, yet.