Films: American Animal

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American Animal

American Animal

USA, 2011, 95 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: American Indie, Dark Comedy, Drama, Medical/Health, Psychological
Programs: Contemporary World Cinema, New Directors Showcase, Reel Social Club
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Matt D'Elia
Producer: Matt D'Elia, Jennifer Aragao, Julian King, Patrick Sayre
Editor: Matt D'Elia, Julian King
Screenwriter: Matt D'Elia
Cinematographer: Julian King
Principal Cast: Matt D'Elia, Brendan Fletcher, Mircea Monroe, Angela Sarafyan

Jimmy is sick. But Jimmy is tired of being sick, so this morning, Jimmy decides he is no longer sick—he’s happy. James is Jimmy’s level-headed roommate; they are best friends, but James has a secret that will rock Jimmy’s happy, happy world. The two start their day like any other, lounging around their beautiful apartment without a care in the world. Two lady friends arrive; the drinking and pot smoking commences; and Jimmy grows ever more adamant that he is happy, happy, happy. But when James reveals that he is starting a new job in the morning, Jimmy’s tenuous grip on reality loosens altogether. To Jimmy, this is the worst thing that has ever happened in his life, despite the fact that he is terminally ill.

Not your average coming-of-age tale, Matt D’Elia’s debut feature breaks free of low-budget chains to represent a game-changer in the American indie scene—an existential dark dark comedy without a sentimental, bow-tied ending. American Animal’s script reads like a play—one location, one day—but comes to cinematic life with sly references to classic films. Bob Fosse, eat your heart out—it’s Jimmy’s showtime!
—MATTHEW CAMPBELL

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