Sis SmithJulio DomínguezMelvin AustinRich LaBontePaula BarrHenry LachsAdrienne ClaiborneNiki LogisPeter CampusTyler SmithAlan DahlVihel. PamKen LappinTed SteegPam PilkingtonJames Barth
A vampire movie, a skin flick, a murder mystery, a structuralist film, and a soap opera all rolled into one - Rappaport's first film, CASUAL RELATIONS, is a formidable exercise in the narrative ambiguities that would dominate many of his films to come. Rappaport casually moves from one sequence to the next, leaving the viewer no tools to understand the relationships between the various stories. Yet the casual relations of the film's title proves to be significantly more than a simple structural clue - the characters that we encounter through the film's episodes all seem to exist in a pointless sort of casualness to their environment that is equal parts droll and melancholic. Some notable characters we meet include a woman so intent on staring into space all day that she refuses to acknowledge her ringing phone, a different woman who is resigned to watching TV all day after no one picks up her phone calls, two former lovers who share a long wordless drive to a motel while Mick Jagger sings on the radio, a man trying to pick up another man at a screening of disaster footage, a skin flick actress posing naked while listening to her photographer berate his wife and kids, and a man obsessed with a photograph of the ocean. Shot in pieces over a year and a half, CASUAL RELATIONS is an important testament to the inventiveness of DIY filmmaking and the underground New York film scene of the 1970s.