Still I Reach for You

Still I Reach for You

Still I Reach for You

Review by FilmmakerLife

Written and directed by Victor Janusz, ‘Still I Reach for You’ is a drama that stars Victor Janusz, Kathy Hsieh, Sean Paul Nofsinger and Lori Larsen. The film chronicles the story of a middle aged man as he struggles to come to terms with the trauma of an event that shook him decades ago.

With ‘Still I Reach for You’, Victor Janusz has made a film that excels in human drama as much as it does in the other realms. Janusz draws up fantastic characters that feel emotionally heavy with actions that have real life consequences. There is an originality to it all, one that takes the film in unexpected places.

Taking up double duty as both writer and director, Janusz proves himself to be the perfect man to bring this story onscreen. It is impressive that Janusz also plays the main lead but that was perhaps for the best since he wrote the script himself. Aware of the nuances and tiny details that make the film what it is, Janusz gives a fantastic turn as a grieving man, one who is desperate to find meaning in his existence. In addition, the acting by the rest of the cast is great as well. Every actor gives the film his all, ensuring that the film is elevated by their performances. There is just enough subtle wit to balance the emotional beats and the final product thus turns out very well.

In regards to its technical aspects, ‘Still I Reach for You’ bursts out of the screen due to its stunning cinematography by Tyler Aaron Parsons. Perfectly capturing the melancholic existence of its lead, the film has a visual narrative of its own that complements the human drama unfolding onscreen. Expertly utilising colours and shades to convey emotions within the story, the cinematography gives the film a life of its own.

The music choices are another huge win and they work to set the tone of the film. In addition, the sound mixing and sound editing are also good. Despite being a ‘supposedly slow’ drama, the fifty minute runtime whizzes by courtesy of the fantastic editing and narrative pacing. Janusz chooses to move the story as he sees fit, fully realising that any attempt to tamper with the drama might grind the narrative into an inescapable halt which would negatively affect the unfolding of the main story.

Poignant and moving, Victor Janusz’s ‘Still I Reach for You’ is a story about life itself. Populated by fantastic characters and anchored by great performances, this is a film that accurately reflects the struggles of its protagonist. Janusz has made a fantastic film, one that will not only speak to multiple demographics but will also initiate a conversation regarding the trials and perils of the AIDS epidemic in America.

Cast / Crew

Director(s):
Victor Janusz
Writer(s):
Victor Janusz
Editor(s):
Tyler Aaron Parsons
Cast:
Ryan Higgins, Adam Michael Waldo, Victor Janusz, Lori Larsen, Kathy Hsieh, Sean Paul Nofsinger, Ade, Eric Pitsenbarger.
Producer(s):
Scott Trethewey, Victor Janusz, Karla Eskro.
Sound:
Katie Smith, Pete Remine/Dave Pascal
Music:
All Music written & composed by Victor Janusz, Performed by VJ Band.

Specifications

Genre:
Narrative Dramatic Feature (Indie)
Country:
United States
Year:
2023
Language:
English

About the Director

Since 2020, Cabrera Janusz has shifted his main focus to Writing-Directing, alongside his less rigorous music schedule. Short films include “The Bones of Richard III”” (2016, VJ Band) and a Holiday short “C3Q (See Three Queens)” (2021). The Mini-Feature “Still I Reach For You”–supported by Artist Trust Foundation & 4 Culture-–was filmed and completed in 2022, with a scheduled 2023 release. Says Janusz: “Whether I’m a piano soloist, singing, directing a play or making a film… it all comes down to storytelling.”

Photo Gallery / Video

Synopsis

How did AIDS touch your life? This film, ‘Still I Reach For You’ is for all the fallen, all the survivors, –all the people today who don’t want anything, or anyone, forgotten.
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“‘Still I Reach for You’ is a story about life itself. ”

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