A film school thesis project that somehow found its way into general release. Writer-director Stephen Dunn deals his semi-autobiographical debut deck — specifically, a spate of acutely symbolic reoccurring dream sequences — with a heavy hand. Mom (Joanne Kelly) booked early on, leaving young Oscar (Jack Fulton) to fend for himself against his angry, homophobic old man (Aaron Abrams). Flash forward a few years to find Oscar (Connor Jessup) pining for a future as a Hollywood makeup artist... and a German co-worker (Aliocha Schneider) whose sexual preference remains purposely clouded. This gay coming-of-ager is peppered with more symbols than a dozen drum kits and just the right amount of pixelated glitches to justify its dreamlike edge (and catch the eye of Strand Releasing). Occasional flights of fancy, including a talking hamster voiced by Isabella Rossellini, aren’t enough to compensate for the overall literal-minded nature of the project. (2015) — Scott Marks
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