waydowntown

on September 10, 2000 by Barbara Goslawski
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   Winner of the Best Canadian Feature Award at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, "waydowntown" showcases Gary Burns' uncanny knack for creating clever satire from the most ordinary of situations. In the film, he skewers the (literally) suffocating downtown corporate office culture familiar to North American city-dwellers. Tom (Fabrizio Filippo) is a young trainee who is bored with his job, and happily immune to the company's indoctrination techniques. Some of his co-workers are not so lucky, and he is surrounded by a veritable menagerie of neurotic kooks. Meanwhile, he and a group of colleagues have bet a month's wages on who can stay indoors the longest. Since they all live and work downtown, they can get where they need to go simply by using the underground tunnels.

   Director Burns displays admirable restraint: he avoids slipping into silly shenanigans and turns "waydowntown" into a cogent yet hilarious indictment of our soul-destroying urban existence. Starring Fabrizio Filippo, Don McKellar and Gordon Currie. Directed by Gary Burns. Written by Gary Burns and James Martin. Produced by Shirley Vercruysse and Gary Burns. A Lot 47 release. Comedy. Not yet rated. Running time: 83 min

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