Director: Aaron Schimberg

Screenwriter: Aaron Schimberg

Producer: Vanessa McDonnell, Daniel Patrick Carbone, Matthew Petock, Dan Schoenbrun, Zachary Shedd

Editor: Sofi Marshall

Cast: Jess Weixler, Adam Pearson, Charlie Korsmo, Sari Lennick, Stephen Plunkett, Joaquina Kalukango, Sammy Mena, Frank Mosley, Eleanore Pienta

Cinamatographer: Adam J. Minnick




Chained for Life

Wisconsin Premiere • narrative • USA • 2018 • DCP • 91 MIN

section: American Visions

Strange, funny, and moving, this dreamlike indie tackles issues of representation with empathy and satirical bite. On the set of a schlocky exploitation movie directed by a wannabe Werner Herzog, the two lead performers develop a real connection off-camera. Both were cast for their looks: she's a beautiful actress (Jess Wexler of Teeth), he has neurofibromatosis (like the actor who plays him, Under the Skin's Adam Pearson). While their onscreen characters enact hokey stereotypes, the actors’ warm and tender relationship forms the stable center of an increasingly tricky narrative design, in which the lines between reality and fantasy blur. Shot on wondrously grainy 16mm, Chained for Life questions many things—notions of beauty, PC good intentions, the history of disfigurement in cinema from Freaks to The Elephant Man—and has the wisdom to reject pat answers. "An intoxicating whirlwind of ideas, spectacularly moving and entertaining. Chained for Life could be a defining film about representation for any group that Hollywood marginalizes" (Birth.Movies.Death.). "A truly mesmerizing mind trip of a movie sure to leave audiences reeling and pondering its mysteries long after the credits roll" (Indiewire). 2018 BFI London, Fantasia International, and Fantastic Film Festivals. (MK)