Blades of Gory

Jacob Borschevsky has big-time rage issues. A mother chatting on the phone and ignoring her crying infant or a hardware store clerk innocently punching in the wrong price on the register throws the square-jawed carpenter into a murderous frenzy. The only thing stopping the tormented protagonist of indie filmmaker Yuri Tsapayev’s S.F.-shot brainteaser, Contractor’s Routine, is his inquisitive sidekick, Esau. (Nice to know someone other than the Coen brothers reads the Old Testament.) What’s truly worrisome, we realize soon enough, is that Esau is a(nother) figment of Jacob’s demented imagination. The occasional bursts of violence and sex notwithstanding, Contractor’s Routine is more concerned with talk than action — ideas rather than drama. There are ongoing philosophical discussions between Jacob (the appropriately intense Kevin Giffin) and Esau (a droll Richard Frederick, supplying a welcome touch of levity) about such deep subjects as creation vs. destruction and illusion vs. reality. These turn the film at times into My Dinner with Andre in a rolling pickup truck. Gravel-voiced Tom Sizemore adds a layer of mystery in the small but crucial role of Jacob’s former art teacher, spitting out chunks of thought-provoking voice-over laced with beady-eyed paranoia. The ending, as with all well-conceived psychological thrillers, invites you to replay the movie in your head, sifting for hints and meaning.
June 3-9, 7 p.m., 2011

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