Mr. Vincent

Director: Robert Celestino
Screenwriters: Robert Celestino, John Mollica

Institute History

  • 1997 Sundance Film Festival


This isn’t the usual meet-cute love story, nor the usual sentimentalized tale of doomed love or romantic obsession. This time around, a rock gets lifted, and all the nasty life-forms hiding underneath are subjected to microscopic observation. One man, one woman: It’s the same old setup with a whole different method to its madness. John Vincent (Frank John Hughes) is an indifferent schoolteacher with a classroom of indifferent students in deepest Yonkers. But, hey, he’s got a dream. He moonlights as a singer songwriter of questionable talent and undaunted optimism. Even when his wife dumps him, John Vincent is unbowed. He takes up with Lisa (Lisa LoCicero) and pours all of his dreams into this new crucible—until the relationship turns sour, and he begins to pour all his nightmares into it instead. John mutates from ardent suitor to generous lover, from spurned lover to vengeful stalker. He’s losing his grip. And we’re there, up close, for it all.

With a single-minded intensity that rivals Vincent’s, director/writer Robert Celestino has burned anything that might be irrelevant right off the screen and out of his script. What’s left is a white-hot passion spinning out of control. Celestino’s is reminiscent of John Cassavetes, and Dick Fisher’s cinematography makes it impossible to imagine Mr. Vincent in anything but his bone-deep, skin-taut black and white.

— B.Ruby Rich

Screening Details

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