Press / Moving Pictures Magazine

The stories behind movies

Waiting opens with a game of chess. The pieces flow seamlessly across the board, but one sticks out more than the others: a lollipop with a flattened top that replaces a queen. The game is being played in a hospital room shared by two patients who are waiting and hoping for a liver donor.

Both men are older, one more so than the other. The elder speaks flowerily to the nurse, while the younger is somewhat terse. When a motorcycle accident brings a liver donor into the hospital, their innermost hopes are shared, revealing a hidden facet to each of these characters' personalities. Exquisite cinematography by David Brower complements the sterile cold and human warmth of hospital life that unfolds. Expertly directed by Yuri Shapochka, the film subtly shows how one person's individual hopes are often intertwined with the hopes of others. The way life plays out is unexpected, like a game of chess. Film features the title song by Robinella from her album "Solace For The Lonely."

High Expectations: Put yourself in Karl Malnek's shoes (no laces if you please) and imagine being thrown into prison for a crime you didn't commit and now, 20 years later, you're finally released only to be sent to the trial you never had. Don't think the crazy train stops there, because not only is your judge blind and the prosecutor is your only defense, but your very own public attorneys - who are, respectively, deaf and mute - are the ones pointing the finger of accusation at you.

Confused? Well, you're in good company with Karl, who, after his wrongful incarceration, has been given the opportunity to commit the crime he never did. If you're going to be convicted of robbery, why not get the spoils - right? High Expectations, Shapochka's farce of the U.S. judicial system is full of offbeat humor guaranteed to entertain and leave audiences feeling just as confounded as poor Karl.

By Asma Malik and KC Ifeanyi, Moving Picture Magazine