Frownland Review

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Anxious, socially-awkward New Yorker Keith Sontag (Dore Mann) goes door-to-door selling coupons for MS. Eeking a bleak existence, he offers a study of humanity at its most fragile.


Outsider cinema has a new antihero. But few are going to identify with the needy, incoherent, self-loathing loser Keith, played by Dore Mann, in debut writer-director Ronald Bronstein’s savage study of urban alienation and the slow death of communication. With Mann speaking endlessly, but saying little, this could be dubbed ‘ramblecore’. However, the shabby Brooklyn chugger’s anger and confusion become more understandable in view of the bitter depiction of whining girlfriend Laura (Mary Wall), duplicitous roommate Charles (Paul Grimstad) and indifferent buddy Sandy (David Sandholm).

With Bronstein refusing to impose order upon Mann’s haphazard existence and cinematographer Sean Williams shooting in intrusive close-up, this is indie cinema on the edge of insight and ennui, and its unrelenting insistence will either intrigue or infuriate.

Uncomfortable but awkwardly compelling, it's a film that mirrors the qualities of its central character - alienating and oddly appealing in equal measure.