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There  are a lot of unusual things about  Ed Gass-Donnelly's "Small Town Murder Songs" which begins a week-long run at the Screening Room on Friday.

You have, for one thing, never seen Peter Stormare like this, despite how the Coen Brothers' apparent joy in making him sinister and more than a little dumb. In Gass-Donnelly's film he plays a small-town cop whose ex (Jill Hennessy) has taken up with the skeeviest, scurviest guy in the county.

A dead woman was found by the lake and it's not making his life any easier.

So far, so good, in the Canadian film.

But what's rather remarkable about the film is its origin: it was the director's fantasy expanding an idea he got from the Fembots' album "Small Town Murder Scene."

He would have used the Fembots in his film too except the gospellish music of the group Bruce Peninsula kept taking up more and more space in the film. First, they were going to accompany the final credits. Then something else by them became the film's introduction. Finally, they're all through the film as counterpoint, providing some of the most unusual film music to come along in a long while.

An unusual fiim, to put it mildly, beginning Friday and replaced at the Screening Room July 7 by "Trigun: Badlands Rumble."
--Jeff Simon  

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