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USA, 2000 (MIFF 2002, International Panorama)

Director: Richard Linklater

Independent American filmmaker Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Waking Life) again demonstrates his filmmaking prowess with a one-room claustrophobic drama. This low-tech, digitally shot three-character piece - based on Stephen Belber's stage-play and starring Ethan Hawke (also in The Jimmy Show, in MIFF this year), Uma Thurman and Robert Sean Leonard - makes for a fascinating film project.

Party boy Vince (Hawke) settles into a cheap motel room with testosterone verve and a bag of drugs. Soon old friend Johnny (Leonard) arrives, clean-cut and in town for the premiere of his indie film at a local festival. Old frictions surface, and the tables turn when Vince draws from Johnny an account of a rape he committed against mutual friend Amy (Thurman) a decade earlier. Vince reveals he's taped the 'confession', and soon Amy arrives and the trio's concealed motives pit them against each other.

"A fascinating three-way head trip ... It crackles with searing insight into the corners of the human psyche." - Washington Post

"A true grey-zone comedy, one that's alternately hilarious and harrowing (when not both at once) with perfectly pitched performances all around." - Variety

Richard Linklater (born in Houston, Texas, 1960) garnered early acclaim with his second feature Slacker (1990). His works include Dazed and Confused (1993), Before Sunrise (1995), SubUrbia (1996), The Newton Boys (1998) and Waking Life (2001). He is the founder and artistic director of the Austin Film Society.

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