Guy

on December 17, 1997 by Greg Lee
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   Vincent D'Onofrio's talent as a character actor is indisputable. With last year's "The Whole Wide World," D'Onofrio showed he had a knack for producing as well, even as he carried a lead role; "Guy" is no different.
   The indie mainstay has again chosen an excellent script by a newcomer, and as a producer has brought in director Michael Lindsay-Hogg to shoot a disturbingly unconventional tale of love and separation. D'Onofrio plays the titular archetypal fellow who finds himself under the unrelenting gaze of a woman and her camera. The nameless, faceless woman ("The Myth of Fingerprints'" Hope Davis) spies Guy in downtown Los Angeles and begins making a documentary about his life--without ever asking permission. Naturally, Guy is taken aback by this intrusion into his life. He responds sequentially with bewilderment, anger, resignation and ardor. D'Onofrio portrays Guy's range of emotions--and his general manner--with such surprising realism it's easy to forget about the movie projector's buzz.
   The woman's camera is the only perspective the audience sees, becoming instigator and victim to the material and social degradation Guy endures over the course of the film. The woman demands her own anonymity yet pleads for complete, intimate access to every aspect of Guy's life. She clearly gets more than a documentarian's satisfaction out of her relationship with Guy. She panics every time he tries to leave; the filming will end only when she says it's over.
   "Guy" was written by Kirby Dick, whose controversial documentary "Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist" received a Special Recognition award at Sundance this year for its unflinching look at indisputedly painful subject matter. His teaming with Lindsay-Hogg--whose first film, the Beatles documentary "Let It Be," became a prototype of the genre--has crafted a startling look at our spectator society, wrought by expert watchers.    Starring Vincent D'Onofrio, Hope Davis and Kimber Riddle. Directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg. Written by Kirby Dick. Produced by Vincent D'Onofrio and Renee Missel. A Polygram release. Drama. Not yet rated. Running time: 89 min.
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