"Frownland" is a pitch-black character study of Keith Sontag, 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.
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Critic Reviews for Frownland
We've all known people like this, usually as little as possible, which may explain why the movie has provoked such violent reactions at festival screenings: it brings us face-to-face with the limits of our compassion.
Frownland is like a shriek for help. It centers on an extraordinary performance that plays like an unceasing panic attack. To call it uncompromising is to wish for a better word.
Nerve-rackingly funny, director Ronald Bronstein's microbudget indie features a protagonist for whom each attempt at communication turns into a rhapsody of strangulated verbiage.
It's impossible to watch this grotty, sometimes unbearably undisciplined yet genuinely tragic movie and not think about the first films directed by John Cassavetes and Paul Morrissey.
Frownland, Ronald Bronstein's startling comedy, is like a mumblecore Eraserhead directed by John Cassavetes.
Lynch's Eraserhead has nothing on this head-trip pic when it comes to weirdness.
It looks like a Cassavetes or Allen film from which malign aliens, in the course of a sinister experiment in brain-depredation, have somehow sucked out every scintilla of mojo, fun or energy.
Uncomfortable but awkwardly compelling, it's a film that mirrors the qualities of its central character - alienating and oddly appealing in equal measure.
A very nearly unbearably bleak ode to the white blind rage inspired by the mundane.
Frownland is at first revolting, then addictively fascinating, and in the end leaves you wondering whether you have discovered an entirely new cinematic universe or have simply suffered through a horribly incompetent mess.
Some have said that Taxi Driver has lost its immediacy because the city no longer carries an overtly dour impact; but Frownland finds it again.
Audience Reviews for Frownland
In "Frownland," Keith(Dore Mann) has been struggling in his job going door to door raising funds for a charity. Some of this might have to do with his shaky relationship with his girlfriend Laura(Mary Wall). For instance, one night she shows up on his doorstep crying. They go to a store and he manipulates her into returning. Things take a turn for the worse when it turns out she is allergic to his pillows and he is impaled on a thumbtack. And I do not care what Laura says but I like the hand puppets which are sadly the highlight of this roughly produced, low budget film that seeks to get into the face of the viewer with its socially inept protagonist. Like some of the characters, I also find Keith annoying, as the movie also soon tires of him, deciding to follow other characters for lengthy periods of time. But then it wanders back to rejoin the pursuit of the payment of an electric bill which is what the movie is all about. Sure, lots of people worry about how they will pay their bills but that should not be their entire life nor a complete motion picture either.More
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