When the mother of his infant son boots him out of her life, Jim wants to go where no one knows his name. So he seeks refuge in the torrent of bodies clogging midtown Manhattan, where he’s safe to unload his bottomless cynicism on that most wretched of creatures, the American Tourist. Cutting an Ignatius Reilly-esque figure with his flat cap and soup-strainer mustache, our dirtbag flâneur sprays his machinegun inner monologue, opening up not bullet holes but nihilistic chasms: in Time Square’s sugary retail attractions, the 9/11 Memorial’s disaster tourism, even the solemn God of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Operating in a visual style that sits where hidden-camera prank meets hellish travelogue, The Tourist partakes of Manhattan’s squeaky-clean present moment as it joins the century-long trail of personal crises shot on its streets. In between is a farewell, if not a fond one, to a certain type of New York lowlife. -Jonathan Kieran.
A short film by Jake Remington. Starring Joe Sonnenblick.