21st Century Cinema
Directed by Ronald Bronstein • 2007 • United States
Longtime Safdie brothers collaborator Ronald Bronstein has described his lone directorial effort as "a rotten egg lobbed with bad aim at the silver screen." Be forewarned: audience response has been intensely divided. FROWNLAND has garnered both passionate raves and scathing denunciation, while festival screenings have ended in screaming matches between patrons. It's strong stuff, yes, but none of its notorious reputation does justice to its savage dark humor, emotional heft, and stylistic audacity. Above all else, FROWNLAND is a pitch-black character study of Keith Sontag (Dore Mann), a neurotic, manipulative, stridently unlovable New Yorker whose pitiless roommate aptly describes him, to his face, as "a burbling troll in his underwear." With the most basic elements of human communication a struggle, Keith lurches his way through an uncaring city, attempting to aid a suicidal friend, evict his unctuous roommate, and simply attain some measure of self-respect. An apoplectic seizure of blind rage, sorrow, and bleating humor . . . FROWNLAND.
Up Next in 21st Century Cinema
Directed by Leilah Weinraub • 2018 • United States
Charting the eight-year run of Shakedown, a peripatetic black lesbian strip club in Los Angeles, director Leilah Weinraub attempts “to portray the before and after of a utopic moment.” Weinraub presents a world unto itself, shaped by the desires...
Directed by Carlos Reygadas • 2002 • Mexico
Starring Alejandro Ferretis, Magdalena Flores
In this preternaturally assured feature debut by Carlos Reygadas, a man (Alejandro Ferretis) travels from Mexico City to an isolated village to commit suicide; once there, however, he meets a pious elderly ...
Directed by Götz Spielmann • 2008 • Austria
Starring Johannes Krisch, Irina Potapenko, Ursula Strauss
A gripping thriller and a tragic drama of nearly Greek proportions, REVANCHE is the stunning, Oscar-nominated international breakthrough of Austrian filmmaker Götz Spielmann. In a ragged section...