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FILM GUIDE ARCHIVE FEATURE NARRATIVE

LONG DISTANCE

TFF 2005
FILM GUIDE ARCHIVE LONG DISTANCE [TFF 2005]

From Dial M for Murder to Phone Booth, ringing telephones have played central roles in the plots of thrillers. In Long Distance, a misdialed phone call puts an innocent young woman, a bubbly Boston blonde named Nicole (Monica Keena), in the path of a vicious serial killer. Nicole is busy living the single, TV-dinner life, fending off nagging calls from her mother, when she accidentally and innocently dials a number across the country. She gets a strange female voice on an answering machine and hangs up. But soon an ominous, insinuating male voice has rung her back. "Believe me, I'm not your mother," says the voice, who's dialed her back courtesy of caller I.D. But Nicole's flirtatious interest quickly turns to annoyance and she hangs up on the stranger, who calls her right back. "I'm intrigued," the voice says. "Your voice, your name." He calls himself Joe, "just average Joe," and his creepy persistence scares her, so she hangs up again. The next day a handsome young cop (Ivan Martin) tells her the voice belonged to a killer, who dialed her from the scene of a murder in Nevada. Soon the killer has embarked on a murderous rampage, killing women and calling our protagonist from each murder scene, and as he moves eastward he gets closer and closer to a now terrified Nicole.

From Dial M for Murder to Phone Booth, ringing telephones have played central roles in the plots of thrillers. In Long Distance, a misdialed phone call puts an innocent young woman, a bubbly Boston blonde named Nicole (Monica Keena), in the path of a vicious serial killer. Nicole is busy living the single, TV-dinner life, fending off nagging calls from her mother, when she accidentally and innocently dials a number across the country. She gets a strange female voice on an answering machine and hangs up. But soon an ominous, insinuating male voice has rung her back. "Believe me, I'm not your mother," says the voice, who's dialed her back courtesy of caller I.D. But Nicole's flirtatious interest quickly turns to annoyance and she hangs up on the stranger, who calls her right back. "I'm intrigued," the voice says. "Your voice, your name." He calls himself Joe, "just average Joe," and his creepy persistence scares her, so she hangs up again. The next day a handsome young cop (Ivan Martin) tells her the voice belonged to a killer, who dialed her from the scene of a murder in Nevada. Soon the killer has embarked on a murderous rampage, killing women and calling our protagonist from each murder scene, and as he moves eastward he gets closer and closer to a now terrified Nicole.

Film Information
Year: 2005
Length: 92 minutes
Language: English
Country: USA
Premiere: World
About the Director(s)

Long Distance is Marcus Stern's first feature film as a director. He is associate director at the American Repertory Theatre, where his work as a theater director includes Woyzeck, Buried Child, The America Play, and Nocturne. In New York City his theater directing credits include The Public, New York Theater Workshop, Dance Theater Workshop, and the Whitney Biennial, as well as productions in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Seattle, Louisville, Moscow, and Zurich. His stage adaptations from films include Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko and Fellini's Juliet of the Spirits. He's directed video and composed music for various theater productions. Stern has taught acting and directing at Yale School of Drama, NYU, Columbia University, and currently teaches at Harvard University and the A.R.T./MXAT graduate acting program at Harvard in conjunction with the Moscow Art Theatre.

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