One of the best movies of last year is playing on campus this weekend. Urbania is a moody thriller that doubles as a gay revenge fantasy, and director Jon Shear, using every trick in the cinematic book, conjures up a world where it's always night but no one ever seems to sleep. Dan Futterman ("Judging Amy") is Charlie, a gay man who lives--if you want to call it living--in New York City. Ever since his life partner was brutally murdered by a rough-trade gay-basher, Charlie has been roaming the streets in search of...what? Sex? Death? Revenge? Redemption? A bedtime story?
Stories are Urbania's bread and butter--those urban legends, like the one about a guy who gets picked up by a beautiful woman, allows himself to be chained to the bed and then wakes up the next morning missing one of his kidneys. "Hear any good stories lately?" Charlie asks while making his rounds, and Shear keeps working these fractured fairy tales into the movie until, finally, the whole city seems to have slipped into a waking nightmare. Beautifully written, beautifully acted, beautifully directed, Urbania will leave you feeling mad, sad and--because it's great filmmaking--glad.