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Barely out of high school himself, 20-year-old Andrew Edison makes a remarkably assured feature directorial debut with Bindlestiffs, an often outrageous, wryly observed teen coming-of-age satire.
Informed by the earlier films of John Hughes, The Farrelly Brothers and Kevin Smith, combined with an edgy irreverence all its own, the micro-budgeted production — shot over the course of two years — merits post-festival theatrical exposure from an attuned distributor.
Edison and Luke Loftin, who collaborated on the loosely improvised script, join John Karna as a trio of disaffected prep school students who find themselves suspended after spraying graffiti on a bathroom stall in protest of the administration’s banning of The Catcher in the Rye.
Having nothing better to do with their free time, the three sheltered rebels without a clue check into a seedy downtown motel with the intention of experiencing “the real America, Holden Caulfield-style.”
Only problem is, none of them has bothered to actually read the book whose cause they have taken up, but that doesn’t prevent them, armed with a load of not-so-convincing bravado, to embark on an odyssey of intended debauchery.
While the results often drift into pure vulgarity, there’s something admittedly refreshing about taking in a comedy about pimply-faced adolescent males who talk a big talk but haven’t ever really walked the walk who are actually portrayed by pimply-faced adolescent males rather than guys in their mid-to-late ’20s.
Lurking just beneath all the gross bits there’s an astute, if scrappy, commentary about posturing and identity issues among angst-ridden teen male friends struggling to communicate with each other in the insulated era of Facebook and Skype.
More importantly, it’s quite funny.
Production companies: Green Stoplight Prods.
Cast: John Karna, Luke Loftin, Andrew Edison, Will Fordyce
Director: Andrew Edison
Screenwriters: Andrew Edison, Luke Loftin
Executive producers: Mike Akel, Jarod Becker, Morgan Alexander, Katie McDowell
Producers: Mike Akel, Andrew Edison, Luke Loftin, Matt Patterson
Director of photography: Katie McDowell
Music: Dylan Hanwright
Editors: Andrew Edison, Luke Loftin
Not Rated, 80 minutes.
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