Susan Mogul's latest documentary, "I Stare at You and Dream," is another example of her distinctiveness as a Los Angeles filmmaker, whereby her subjects in the Highland Park neighborhood where she lives become your extended family. As they are hers.
The first of a new batch of KCET's "Independent Eye" films and videos, "I Stare at You and Dream" offers earthy charms, humor and intriguing insights that affirm the rewards that come from locating and gently probing common denominators that make up the routines of ordinary lives.
In a bit of a sequel to her film "Everyday Echo Street," Mogul dwells on both the stability and fragility of personal relationships, revisiting her good friend, Rosie Sanchez, who works in her parents' restaurant two blocks from Mogul's home, and Ray Aguilar, the interesting, enigmatic man with whom she has an "on and off" romance.
Also prominent is Rosie's daughter, Alejandra, a spirited young poet whose jobs here range from clerking at Thrifty's to being a phone sex operator.