Ronald Bronstein’s directorial debut 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.”
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Scaldingly unpleasant and totally uncompromising. I think it captures something raw and honest about being an angsty urban millennial in a way that few other films or books even dare to attempt. (By the way, why aren't there more films named after Captain Beefheart songs?)
21st century NoWave with Ebert lauding Mann's performance, as "full throttle all the way with insecurity, needfulness, loneliness, mistrust, desperation, self-hate, apology and despair." As unpleasant an experience as it is, I'm not sure why I stuck w/ it... Q. Am I a masochist? (Weird to go from extreme loathing to sympathy for this nebbish. I almost wanna see it again.) A. Yes, I am. 3.5 stars
Too long. I liked a lot things about this movie, but it just overstayed it's welcome. And you can't just put ontological and epistemological in the same sentence back to back like "what?" Gotta earn that shit. Too much neurosis. And I like neurosis.