Cinequest Preview: Small Town Murder Songs

Cinequest opens tonight, and I’m not ready. The festival recently sent me several screener DVDs so I could review some of their films, but I don’t know how many I’ll get to in time.

Because I don’t know how many of these films I’ll get to in a timely manner, I’m going to post capsule reviews one at a time, as soon as possible after seeing each film.

Here’s the first:

A- Small Town Murder Songs, California Theatre, Friday, March 4, 9:30; Sunday, March 6, 4:30; Camera 12, Friday, March 11, 2:45. I seldom wish that a film was longer, but I sure wanted to know more about the people in this Canadian character study disguised as a murder mystery. A newly born-again, small-town police chief (Peter Stormare) is trying to leave his once volatile temper and violent ways behind him. But the discovery of a corpse (the town’s first-ever murder) brings him dangerously close to his old ways and old friends. Every person in this small, 75-minute gem seems to have a story all their own, and many of them surprise you. I found myself wanting to hear all of them. In the end, I didn’t even hear enough about the protagonist, but I’m still very glad I met him.