Hide Your Smiling Faces

Hide Your Smiling Faces

USA, 2013, 80 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: American Indie, Coming of Age, Family Issues, Teen
Program: New Directors Showcase
Language: English

A surprise hit at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, following its premiere in Berlin, Daniel Patrick Carbone’s atmospheric, elliptical, and even dreamlike first feature announces a substantial new talent in the post-Terrence Malick American independent cinema. Hide Your Smiling Faces focuses on a pair of brothers, 9-year-old Tommy (Ryan Jones) and 14-year-old Eric (Nathan Varnson), and their extended all-male social circle as they pass the days in a verdant vacation setting.

Amid one of their leisurely afternoon idylls, Eric and close friend Tristan (Thomas Cruz) discover the dead body of one of Tommy’s pals. With the incomprehensible tragedy reverberating throughout the community, the unnerved brothers respond with searching conversation, conspicuous acts of violence, and a subsequent retreat from the comforts of home.

The richly naturalistic Hide Your Smiling Faces—in its elegantly crafted teen and pre-teen performances no less than in its lush rural landscapes—is perhaps most remarkable for its effortlessly vivid, plausibly real portrait of adolescent male life. Constantly engaging in impromptu wrestling matches, games of “mercy” and empty threats of greater violence, the young men and homosocial experiences that the writer-director brings to the screen are about as authentic as American indie cinema gets. Nearly as noteworthy for this coming-of-age narrative is the almost complete absence of adolescent female actors; this is the rare story of male maturation that does not prominently include sex in the equation. The young male mind is otherwise occupied in Carbone’s truly thoughtful debut.

For information on group rates and community partnerships please contact Karla Rodriguez at karla@denverfilm.org

DIRECTOR: Daniel Patrick Carbone
Producer: Matthew Petock, Zachary Shedd, Jordan Bailey-Hoover, Daniel Patrick Carbone
Editor: Daniel Carbone
Screenwriter: Daniel Patrick Carbone
Cinematographer: Nick Bentgen
Principal Cast: Ryan Jones, Nathan Varnson, Colm O'Leary

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