Never Leave Nevada

  • 1991
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy, Romance

In his mopey feature debut, writer-director-star Steve Swartz aims for the off-kilter coolness of Jim Jarmusch or Hal Hartley but winds up only a pretentious imitator, as cinematically stuck as his characters in the middle of nowhere. Young travelling salesmen Sean Kaplan (Swartz) and Luis Raminez (Rodney Rincon) roam the country between anti-nuclear demonstrations...read more

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In his mopey feature debut, writer-director-star Steve Swartz aims for the off-kilter coolness of Jim Jarmusch or Hal Hartley but winds up only a pretentious imitator, as cinematically stuck as his characters in the middle of nowhere.

Young travelling salesmen Sean Kaplan (Swartz) and Luis Raminez (Rodney Rincon) roam the country between anti-nuclear demonstrations at which they sell appropriately sloganed tee shirts out of the trunk of their car. This sadsack pair land in Beatty, Nevada, a tiny town halfway between Death

Valley and America's largest nuclear test center, and soon fall in with and fall for a pair of roommates: Bettie Gurling (Janelle Buchanan) works in a health clinic and her estranged husband Carlo Pfeffer (Loren Loganbill) is rather nonchalantly dying of cancer, and Lou Ann Pearlstein (Katherine

Catmull) is a casino dealer.

Part of the problem with NEVER LEAVE NEVADA is that that's the entire plot: four eccentrics with nowhere to go and nothing to do but talk. Which they do endlessly--it's like Samuel Beckett with a terminal case of the sillies. Swartz has come up with some funny dialogue, delivered in fine deadpan

style by his performers, but as a director he fails for the most part to make any of this, or his characters, very interesting. Perhaps the unstated point is that this is what happens when, like Beatty, Nevada, you live under a nuclear cloud. (Profanity.)

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  • Released: 1991
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: In his mopey feature debut, writer-director-star Steve Swartz aims for the off-kilter coolness of Jim Jarmusch or Hal Hartley but winds up only a pretentious imitator, as cinematically stuck as his characters in the middle of nowhere. Young travelling sa… (more)

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