Live From SXSW's Screening Room

DEPRIVATION

D: Jesse Scolaro; with Neil Driscoll Jr., Jeremy Davidson, Kellee Stewart, Carlos Trevino, Melanie Torres, Mary Monohan, Larissa Raphael, Deana Barone.

Narrative Feature First Films, World Premiere

The first chilly tickle of dread crawls up early, when high school friends Steven (Driscoll Jr.) and Thomas (Davidson) reunite at the Port Authority in New York City after years out of touch. It's a simple, innocent moment, really -- the tomcat-cool Thomas is in town to give his girlfriend "time with the kid" back home, and he and Steven play huggy roughhouse like in old times. There's awkwardness, of course, but there's also just something off about Thomas -- and something off-putting in his eyes -- that makes everyone uncomfortable, if the shaking, grainy footage full of jump cuts, long takes, and close-ups hasn't already. Credit Davidson -- who, along with Driscoll Jr. as the tall, dark, and depressed host turned downtrodden sidekick, is an astonishing improvisational actor in an astonishing improvisational film -- for eliciting that. His Thomas ends up crashing at Steven's apartment for what must be weeks, and the slide from well-adjusted New Agey teetotaler to sexy beast is slow, certifiable, and severe. Sick secrets are revealed, and sick acts are committed, while the dread that tickled early eventually rips through writer/director Scolaro's shockingly fine debut feature like a hand saw through aluminum. (Westgate, 3/14, 7:30pm)

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
Slate includes everyone from Wes Anderson to the Zellners

Monica Riese, Jan. 30, 2014

Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
The comedian and showrunner will speak March 9

Monica Riese, Jan. 21, 2014

More by Shawn Badgley
This Job Will Change Your Life
This Job Will Change Your Life
Former staff reflect on the zigs and zags of life post-Chronicle

Sept. 3, 2021

Somebody Up There Likes Bob Byington
Somebody Up There Likes Bob Byington
The writer-director talks about his fifth feature

April 5, 2013

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle