Big Fat Independent Movies

Sending Off SXSW Film 04

Male Fantasy

D: Blaine Thurier; with Robert Dayton, Cindy Wolfe, Steve Wood, Shane Nelken, Kim Cote

Narrative Feature Competition, World Premiere

"I am a god. I create this reality," muses Andrew (Dayton), the obnoxious oddball at the center of this narrative exercise in masculine self-loathing. He badgers every female he passes on the street for a coffee, finagles his way into the bed of a desperately needy woman, and harasses his estranged wife (Wolfe) before falling into a porn production: a risible "epic 24-hour vérité piece" about aspiring models performing casting-couch fellatio. There's not much of a narrative arc, just a demolition derby of bad relationships and a level of awkwardness approaching Brechtian estrangement. It's worth mentioning that Thurier's previous feature, 2000's Low Self-Esteem Girl, snagged an award in the 2001 narrative competition, but Male Fantasy is a hard sell: a truly uncomfortable, even jaundiced film about an unlikable loser's attempt to get it on with chicks by whining. Like Myles Berkowitz or Mike Binder, Dayton can evoke the urge to reach through the screen and beat the shit out of him – which is, of course, precisely the movie's point. You have been warned.

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