The Toronto Star

by Antonia Zerbisias

(This article originally appeared in The Toronto Star on July 10, 2002.)

ROOM AT THE TOP: Speaking of shut-ins, Toronto's Kent Tessman has produced the most effective calling card an aspiring filmmaker has ever made with his 77-minute feature film Apartment Story.

Premiering on Bravo tonight at 9:30, this claustrophobic little flick follows a guy named Guy (David Bajurny), who suddenly can't bring himself to face the outside world.

And so he hunkers down in his 15-square-meter apartment, unable to even take out the garbage to the curb. (As if ...)

His "mental health day" extends to weeks as he discovers that, thanks to technology and delivery services, one never need go out for anything, assuming one has an Internet connection and willing pals to remove the empty pizza boxes.

Guy never succumbs to the more slothful temptations of his hermetic existence, except perhaps to spy on his neighbours or to download porn. Unlike many of us, who might never shower or shave, Guy actually embarks on a self-improvement voyage, not unlike a caterpillar entering a cocoon.

Much is being made about how Tessman wrote, directed, produced, edited, designed, scored, catered etc. this production on a mere pittance of some $10,000 or so, a feat possible thanks to determination, imagination, patient friends and new-fangled video equipment.

Kind of like a really slick student film, only with somewhat more wit, less earnestness and a slot in primetime. Considering what's going on in Canadian drama lately, this should make Tessman eminently equipped to move on to the network big leagues.  

This excerpt is copyright © 2002 Toronto Star Newspapers Limited




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