Mat, the main character of John Magary’s film, could high-five chubby Swanson from The Comedy (3rd AFF). They’re off the same shelf, where quick-witted arrogance and euphemistic language ensconce uncertainty and leading to an unpalatable mix. He calls himself a web designer, but has other things to do while on the clock, indulging in a beer and a carbohydrate fueled campaign to make life tough for friends and family. His latest target is Alan, his younger brother, an aspiring yuppie, who Mat takes in for a "few" nights. The Mend is one of the most interesting portraits of contemporary 30-somethings who missed their 18th birthdays. Through cutting dialogues, where split seconds separate kind words from name-calling, Magary perfectly portrays the characters’ tension between the need for intimacy and defense of their independence, nursing their inner child and keeping their feet on the ground. The directorial debut finds a proper vehicle for these confrontations, by setting them in the humming streets of Harlem, using shots that rapidly jump from one perspective to another and classical music that contrasts with Mat’s less-than-gracious treatment of others.
John Magary is a director, screenwriter, and short filmmaker. He was born in Dallas and graduated with a film degree from the University of Columbia. His short, The Second Line, screened at Sundance, in Dallas and SXSW in Austin, where it won the Special Jury Award. The critically-acclaimed comedio-drama The Mend is his feature-length debut.
2004 Site in Fishkill Creek (short)
2005 Our National Parks (short)
2007 The Second Line (short)
2014 Odwyk / The Mend