Dingo

on January 31, 1992 by Susan Lambert
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The music in this film floats free and easy, lining the wispy story with a simple dignity that sustains an otherwise empty movie. Ultimately, though, it's not enough to play music in place of plot, structure, dramatic action so the film suffers greatly, despite the excellent performances and evocative cinematography. "A Good Man in Africa's" Colin Friels plays John "Dingo" Anderson, a husband, father and dog trapper who dreams of playing trumpet with the legendary Billy Cross (the even more legendary Miles Davis). Friels is a strong, stoic actor, but has nothing to do here. The plot is more than subtle, it's invisible. Dramatic moments are missed, conflict is never faced, only danced about.
   Director Rolf De Heer is rarely where he should be with his coverage and the film lacks the very passion it alludes to, giving a random spin on old cliches. But the prize in this stale crackerjack box of a film is Davis in his first and last screen performance. His presence is powerful and intense and witty. One wishes the amazing musician had done more acting or that "Dingo" could do justice to his persona instead of simply relying on the music man as the sound anchor to such a lightweight tale. Starring Colin Friels and Miles Davis. Directed by Rolf De Heer. Written by Marc Rosenberg. Produced by Rolf De Heer, Giorgio Draskovic, Marie Pascale Osterrieth and Marc Rosenberg. A Greycat Films release. Drama. Not Rated. Running time: 108 min.
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