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Yeast

D: Mary Bronstein; with Bronstein, Amy Judd, Greta Gerwig, Sean Williams

In Mary Bronstein's directorial debut – in which we witness, in extreme close-up, the meltdown of three women's interconnected friendships – it's not only the characters who grate: Every small sound in the movie – paper crumpled, a plastic tarp unfolded – seems turned up to 11. Add to that the yelling, the harping, and the hitting, and you have an intentionally provocative assault, though not one without humor (Bronstein's character has a collage of feminist heroines over her bed, and the dialogue sets a new bar for the clever/searing insult). "I wasn't interested in realism," said Bronstein at the packed world premiere Monday, "but in a sense of how reality makes you feel." If it makes you feel mostly icky, the wonder of Yeast is the way in which the actors (Judd as passive-aggressive layabout, Gerwig as nightmare party girl, and Bronstein as needy nag) dig into and distinguish the nuances of that ickiness, transforming the unreal doings of their psychotic mean girls into a riveting spectacle.

Thursday, March 13, 5pm, Alamo Ritz

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