Ronald Bronstein’s bleak, uncompromising indie flick Frownland is now available on DVD. Better yet, it’s available in a fancypants deluxe edition that includes outtakes, extras, a vinyl version of the film’s score and an actual piece of the original 16mm work print.
When the film played at SXSW 07, Bronstein described it to me as “a miserablist sort of comedy about an excruciatingly irritating and inarticulate young man, chronicling several days in his life as he pingpongs from one damaged rapport to the next”. Which is as perfect a description as can be offered about a film as, um, complicated as Frownland. What it leaves out is that the lead performance is absolutely stellar, and that the film is one of the most raw, original works to come from an American indie filmmaker in years.
I can’t guarantee you’ll like this movie. But even in hating it, you may cement its substantial reputation as a singular howl against the indie establishment (which sounds like an oxymoron but really isn’t). One word of advice though: if you want to get a sense of the flick, try watching the individual clips like this one rather than the trailer.