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The Independent Critic

Written and Directed by
Christopher D. Morgan
Richard Scharine, Kylie Saxton, Lillith Fields
Running Time

 "Adler's Bus Stop" Review 
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Mr. Adler (Richard Scharine) hurriedly arrives at a German bus stop on the way to visit his hospitalized wife. He is quickly joined by a young girl, Sally (Kylie Saxton), and by a young woman, Jessica (Lillith Fields). Before long, what seems to be nothing more than a casual visit between neighbors is revealed to be much, much more.

Written and directed by Christopher D. Morgan under Two Sherpas LLC, a Utah-based privately held film/video development and production company, Adler's Bus Stop is a beautifully constructed short film that gently weaves its way with tenderness and compassion towards its central character, a well-dressed elderly man who seems remarkably together within the world in which he lives. Brought to life with tremendous dignity by Richard Scharine, who occasionally alternates between English and German to subtly reinforce that, perhaps, all is not as it seems with our otherwise "normal" Mr. Adler. Rather than reaching out for a sympathetic tone, Scharine joins Morgan in presenting Adler simply "as is," a man who may not be what he once was but is still rather remarkable.

While she is only on screen briefly, young Kylie Saxton leaves a lasting impression as Sally, a girl who seems to carry an endearing affection for Mr. Adler in a way that reveals both caring and an age-appropriate lack of understanding for the full scope of what's going on in this scenario. It is when Jessica arrives at the bus stop that the remarkably tender dance of familial intimacy reveals itself in a way that will undoubtedly ring true for families everywhere dealing with similar circumstances. Lillith Fields captures Jessica's experience beautifully, modeling the required carefully selected words, gestures and body language yet doing so with heartfelt authenticity.

D.P. Jason Ball's black-and-white cinematography is simple yet pristine and mood-setting, while Alfonso Tenreiro's original score companions are nearly eight-minute journey with a subtlety that never overwhelms or dominates the film. Morgan rather sparsely populates the film with dialogue, lending an intentionality to each word that works nicely within the dynamics of this unfolding scene.

The only scene that slightly felt like a stereotype rather than an authentic unfolding was, in fact, the opening scene in which Mr. Adler sort of lurches towads the bus stop with a curiousity that feels a touch awkward and unsettling. Yet, as the story itself unfolds even this scene begins to take on a deeper meaning.

The recently completed Adler's Bus Stop has recently been submitted to several film festivals and should enjoy a long life on the indie film festival circuit.