Laws of Gravity (1992)

Not on DVD!...Is this the fate of independents?

Not on DVD!...Is this the fate of independents?

I first saw this film as part of a double feature. Laws of Gravity played with Man Bites Dog, both were part of a film festival themed around ultra-violence. The years was 1994. Independent cinema was booming. Nick Gomez was being hailed as a director to watch. So, how come I don’t hear many folks talking about this film today?

I can’t even find a proper DVD release of this film. While others like Tarantino and Kevin Smith went on to cult superstar status, Nick Gomez has made a steady career of directing television shows. The shows he directs have some clout – Homicide, The Shield, Veronica Mars, Dexter, but none of this subsequent work compares to his first feature film.

The Brooklyn losers that populate Laws of Gravity are one spark away from erupting into a fit of violence. They are trapped between the irresponsibility of youth and the pressures of manhood. They rise up only by tearing each other down. Gomez captures all of the action in very intimate, claustrophobic framing. As the vocal sparring escalates, there is no where to escape. It’s uncomfortable watching these wanna-be criminals destroy their lives. Even if their arguments do not end in body blows or bullets, the constant verbal abuse takes its toll and reminds me words can hurt just as much as sticks and stones.

It’s been over 15 years since this film was first released. Today it deserves recognition, if not for being one of the greatest, most harrowing independent films released during that early 90’s frenzy of indie cinema, than for possibly out doing Goodfellas for its use of the F’word.

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