Without a Pass (1991)


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29 December 2005 | bob the moo
An interesting short with a solid emotional core
It has been over twenty years since Blue Berry was a young man plying his jazz trade in LA, but now he has decided to come back and take the chance to hook up with his old friend Buddy. However he finds that LA is just as bad as it was when he was caught up in the riots in the sixties except now the violence is black-on-black and hopeless. As he approaches his gig at the Starlight Club, Blue tries to make some peace with his past.

From the consistently average staple of short films from Chanticleer Films this film unfolds the story gradually in a rather interesting and quite satisfying way. I won't reveal the end of either thread of the story because the value in the film is watching the pain come out slightly from Blue and learning what happened between him and Buddy. It isn't quite as good as I would have liked it to be because it doesn't reveal too much in the way of feelings, rather events, but it still does enough to be of interest. The low key and restrained delivery of the story is a bonus because it does allow you the time to try and feel your way around the characters.

The acting helps this by having a lead performance from Amos that gives the audience more than is just on paper. He isn't the best actor in the world by a long way but his heavy, slowed approach does convince of a man carrying a load for years, while his slight but telling release is about right given the time passed. He is reasonably well supported by the cast that includes Dean (Where's Marlowe), Graf (Police Academy) and one-time Spike Lee collaborator Marsalis.

Overall this is not a great film but it is low key and interesting enough to be worth a look. It doesn't give you all the answers or the whole story but it does enough to draw you into the character of Blue so that you are interested and stick with it. An interesting short film then that has a solid emotional delivery.





Release Date:

19 February 1992



Country of Origin


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