A Film by Roger and Gerald Sindell

Cleveland Plain Dealer

by Peter Bellamy, Entertainment Editor Feb 4, 1968

Last July two young brothers came to town to raise $107.000 with the ambition of producing an art film of genuine artistic merit in Cleveland. They have succeeded admirably.

The brothers are Roger Sindell, 25, and his brother, Gerry, 23, the sons of David Sindell, the Cleveland attorney.

Their film, “Double-Stop,” is an exciting melange of entertainment, social message and exhibition of the impact of the irrationality of a big city. The color photography, the original music and the acting are also exciting and absorbing.

“Double-Stop” has many surprises, not the least of which is its showing that the joys of married sex, involving love, loyalty and total commitment, are even more intense than those of the cheap, selfish, furtive types emphasized ad nauseum in too many so called European art films like “I, A Woman” and “Carmen, Baby.”

THE SCENE of married sex in “Double-Stop” has a dream-like fantasy quality in that it is photographed under black light. Tenderness rather than nudity is underscored. The spiritual and physical feelings of the participants are sometimes indicated by music and lighting rather than by visual detail.

The locale, of course, is Cleveland, but the city is never identified in the film. Roger says that in this he and his brother have followed the injunction of Henry James, who in his “Art of the Novel” stated that no city except Paris ever need be identified.

Central characters of the story are a third cellist in the Cleveland Orchestra, and his wife, who live in a coach house with their young son. Their conflict comes when she has their own son bussed to a school in the Central Area. The husband visits the depressed area and takes the son out of school.

THE COACH house in which the couple live is actually that the widely known potter, Tom Connor, at 2141 Overlook Road, Cleveland Heights, where Potter lives with his wife, Mae, designer, sculptor, weaver. It was formerly owned by banker – diplomat Myron T. Herrick, attorney Homer Johnson and Brooke Taylor, now a New York radio and TV announcer. It is a residence of enormous charm.

A huge party scene at the start of the picture was taken at the old Garfield estate in Bratenahl. There are many scenes of Severance Hall and its environs. There is a murder in the Fine Arts Garden, suggestive of that of Miss. Marjorie Winbigler in 1966 at the same locale.

There are many scenes of gorgeous scenic beauty, apparently taken in Bratenahl and Gates Mills. Fleming Olsen’s fluid camera many times soars into the air to shoot down and suggest a ritual dance in the movement of humans an autumn leaves. The Sindells wrote the script together, with Roger producing and Gerry directing.

THERE IS music by the Cleveland Orchestra and 30 minutes of original music by David Davis, former head of the music department of the University of Virginia. His orchestration employs one of the two electric harpsichords in the nation. Some of his music is atonal with harsh strings and heavy tympany. Other parts of it are soaring and lyrical.

The title “DDouble-Stop” derives from a musical term meaning to produce two tones simultaneously, as on a stringed instrument. The film certainly produces more than one tone in its theme.

A note of racial bitterness is injected when two white Clevelan Orchestra musicians go into a Negro bar. There one of them meets a Negro with whom he had been great pals in high school, but the accentuation of racial strife has now made their friendship impossible.

THE ROLE of the cellist is taken by Jeremiah Sullivan, who performed with distinction at Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival last year. Last Sunday he was pictured in a full page advertisement in the New York Times, publicizing the East Coast TV premiere of Harold Pinter’s play, The Dwarfs.”

The role of the wife in “Double-Stop” is taken by Mimi Torchin, who appeared at Chagrin Falls Theater last summer. She is a vital lady with the intense quality needed to present the character of an articulate woman with a strong social conscience.

Tony Walsh, a student at Western Reserve University Law School, and former actor at Kent State University, has enormous presence as the hard-bitten, bearded bassoonist.

The brothers Sindell hope to premiere “Double-Stop” in Cleveland about March 15 at a first run theater to be determined. May their film have nothing but good fortune.