Reviews and Interviews

Goodbye Solo

Narrative Feature, Spotlight Premieres
D: Ramin Bahrani; with Souléymane Sy Savané, Red West

In 2008, based on the acclaim he had received for his stylish character studies, Chop Shop and Man Push Cart, Bahrani received the Someone to Watch Award at the Independent Spirits. He surpasses his previous output with Goodbye Solo, a deceptively simple film about Senegalese-American cabbie Solo (Savané), whose life is affected by a chance passenger (West) who wants Solo to taxi him to his appointed suicide spot in two weeks' time. Cash-strapped but nevertheless reluctant to participate in such a mission, the garrulous and outgoing Solo instead insinuates himself into the final weeks of his uncommunicative passenger's life. Teaming again with cinematographer Michael Simmonds, Bahrani creates the feel of a strikingly well-worn outsider universe. Newcomer Savané hits just the right notes as the well-meaning but unwanted chaperone, while West (one of Elvis Presley's original Memphis Mafia bodyguards) lends the film its touch of world-weariness. Goodbye Solo, a hit on the festival circuit, could well be Bahrani's breakout film.

Thursday, March 19, 4pm, Alamo South Lamar

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Goodbye Solo

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