MIFF Play Premiere - Funny Pages Unclassified 18+
Tune in to a special one-night-only digital session of Funny Pages, which kickstarts MIFF Play’s 2022 season.
In this Safdies-produced coming-of-age black comedy, a comic-book nerd thinks he’s hit the mentoring/muse jackpot when he meets a cantankerous fiftysomething former colourist.
Seventeen years old and ensconced in suburban comfort, Robert feels creatively stifled. He desperately wants to write and draw comics, but while he’s got the skills, he has no life experience. One day, following a traumatic incident, Robert announces to his horrified parents that he’s dropping out of school and moving out. Finding lodgings in a dingy basement apartment, he delights in meeting Wallace, an ex-colourist for some of his favourite graphic novels. Will Wallace live up to the idealistic teen’s expectations, or is Robert about to learn some hard lessons?
Acidly hilarious, Funny Pages is the directorial debut of Owen Kline, the former child actor best known for playing the younger brother in Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and the Whale. In shifting to the other side of the camera, Kline has clearly been influenced by the Safdie brothers, who have hooked the young helmer up with cinematographer to the indie stars Sean Price Williams. Shooting on Super 16mm (and assisted by Hunter Zimny, who lensed MIFF 2021’s The Scary of Sixty-First), he gives the film a gorgeously grimy feel entirely apt for the depicted down-and-out milieu, while actors Daniel Zolghadri and Matthew Maher are engrossing as a prickly pair who probably deserve each other.
“Deliciously dark … This is a genuinely bizarre, startling, freewheelingly lo-fi and funny indie picture with the refreshing bad-taste impact of Todd Solondz or Robert Crumb. Five stars.” – The Guardian
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