A cheerful version of The Shining with commentary by Werner Herzog. A mixture of Kubrick, Altman and the Muppets. The title comes from one of the worst films in the history of cinema: a vaudeville-style freak show with dwarves and conjoined twins. In contrast to that 1952 film, however, the 2018 version sparkles with wit, intelligence and cinematic erudition. An odd European director is making his first English-language film. Cast in the main roles are a neurotic actress who doesn't believe in her beauty (Jess Weixler, winner of a best actress award at Sundance) and a man with neurofibromatosis (Adam Pearson, from the film Under the Skin). Their shared scenes on a breakneck movie set, which is filled with various freaks, riff on political correctness. A blind sleepwalker stops a face transplant, and hydrochloric acid burns like a Chekhovian shotgun. It is at once a comedy that will bring you to tears and a melodrama that will capture your heart. How is acting connected with beauty? What is the relationship between cinema and what we see as attractive? As long as we're going all the way, it's also a wonderful send-up of arthouse. A film within a film, which is within yet another film.
Aaron Schimberg is a cinema lover and director from New York who made his directorial debut with a radical film about trauma shot on 16 mm black-and-white film. He explores the very medium of cinema, its representation, and how it functions in the memory of the viewer. He is an erudite, who juggles references to the history of cinema, art and literature. He brings to light bizarre, forgotten films and talks to them through his cinema, even giving them their own titles. He writes original screenplays. He makes his films with his wife, who produces them.
2009 Late Spring: Regrets for Our Youth (short)
2013 Go Down Death
2018 Uwięzieni / Chained for Life