For my friend and soon-to-be brilliant director, Nick Alonzo
Nick Alonzo is a director of talent, creativity, and real-life situations. I attended film camp with this director years ago, have shared the love for movies with him, and he has proven himself to be a very serious filmmaker as a career. With “Shitcago,” this film is one that will make viewers feel connected within the movie itself. I found it to be moving and audacious. With its technical aspect of being black and white, that adds a dark tone that is mesmerizing.
The plot of the film follows a character that is named the Loner (played by Jeremiah Aviles). The film has no necessary plot or serious themes. The Loner is someone that roams the streets of Chicago and has many odd encounters. As soon as he spray paints the words “Shitcago” (The film’s title), things actually do go down hill for the Loner.
The Loner decides to go for a stroll in the city of Chicago, an all day adventure for himself. He goes passed The Trump Tower, The Willis Tower, The Art Institute, numerous subway stations, and a variety of other places downtown. Each place something negative comes upon him.
There is a moment where the Loner goes to a hotdog stand and when one man realizes that he is putting ketchup on his hotdog, he just bashes him with negative words and comments about how why he thinks that it is stupid to put ketchup on a hotdog. What Alonzo is good at in this moment is realism. The rude words of this hot dog stand jerk are quite vulgar, intense, and harsh where viewers feel they are a part of the actual scenario. Hence the word “Shit” in the title, the Loner is definitely being treated like it.
Also, the Loner goes to the Art Institute and looks at a painting. Just looks at the painting having no idea what the painting is. All of a sudden, an art nerd approaches him and elaborates on the emotional concept of the painting. The nerd talks quite fast about his fascinations of the art piece the Loner and him are looking at. However, the Loner has no interest or desire for what the nerd is saying. I feel from this scenario and many other scenarios in “Shitcago” that this says something about the Loner. That is that he does not care about many elements surrounding him, he just in the presence to be in the presence. He is a self-centered, rude, and quiet individual with hidden emotions.
I will say I love the lighting in “Shitcago.” The black and white concept fits the dark and dramatic elements very well. This works especially for the moments where the Loner roams the streets at night. There is darkness surrounding the Loner and the area itself. It is an unforgettable landscape of vulgarity, scenery, and the everyday people that live in Chicago.
I will say “Shitcago” is a film that is of pure brilliance. I have watched it twice and even find it worthy of more viewings. Alonzo has the eye as a talented director as he already is. I give it to him for this creative and vast story. Wonder what is going on in the days of Chicago? Watch “Shitcago” and see for yourself what you might encounter next time your downtown. Four stars.