Gettin' Square (2003)
Cast: Thomas Dekker, Haley Bennett, Juno Temple, Kelly Lynch, James Duval
Director: Gregg Araki
Summary: Smith's everyday life in the dorm - hanging out with his arty, sarcastic best friend Stella, hooking up with a beautiful free spirit named London, lusting for his gorgeous but dim surfer roommate Thor - all gets turned upside-down after one fateful, terrifying night.
Analysis: A year after "Thelma and Louise" came "The Living End", an independent film which had a similar premise but made the protagonists two gay HIV+ men. It was raw, intense and signalled the arrival of a new talent in the form of filmmaker Gregg Araki. In the subsequent two decades, he's delivered several trippy films involving young, good-looking omnisexual people having lots of graphic sex and dealing with some wacky cobbled together plot shenanigans.
The tone has ranged the light-hearted "Splendor" and "Nowhere" to the darker "Mysterious Skin
While "Tony" or "Hayes" are obvious, he's also been called "the John Turturro of Australian acting" given his tendency to nail standout supporting roles and the fact that filmmakers tend to offer him roles they have earmarked for him, rather than audition him. Luis Guzman could be another comparison.
His roles playing bearded, mulleted, working-class criminal types have spawned a moniker: "The King of Western Grit" -- and his most hardcore fans have created an online shrine as a homage to this idea.
Nominated for four Australian Film Institute awards and winner of two, he's played bogans and crims, soldiers and cops; in David Ceasar's Prime Mover he played three separate roles, and in his most recent work on the box -- in the dark black satirical comedy series Review with Myles Barlow -- he played himself, albeit a mad drug-dealing criminal version.
I like to consider myself a fairly good follower of awards season, but there are organisations that I admit I have to plead ignorance over. The Gotham Independent Film Awards is one such example. I don't think, in the eight years (or so) that I've been following the Oscars, that I have ever actually figured out who these people are. And yet year after year they seem to throw up such a wonderful, varied and oft left-of-centre list of nominees for their annual awards. Misunderstood or just-not-loved-enough titles like Margot at the Wedding, Marie Antoinette, Frozen River, Me & You & Everyone We Know and others have had the Gotham's spotlight shined on them,
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