9 user 17 critic

Dance Party, USA (2006)

Jessica and Gus, two apathetic teenagers, drift aimlessly from one day to the next until they meet each other. They make a tenuous and fleeting connection when Gus confides in Jessica about his dark past.


Aaron Katz


Aaron Katz




Credited cast:
Cole Pensinger Cole Pensinger ... Gus
Anna Kavan Anna Kavan ... Jessica
Ryan White Ryan White ... Bill
Sarah Bing Sarah Bing ... Christie
Natalie Buller Natalie Buller ... Kate
Brendan McFadden ... Andy
Chad Hartigan ... Sam
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lorraine Bahr Lorraine Bahr ... Mom


Jessica and Gus, two apathetic teenagers, drift aimlessly from one day to the next until they meet each other. They make a tenuous and fleeting connection when Gus confides in Jessica about his dark past.

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mumblecore | See All (1) »




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User Reviews

It's not perfect but it's highly enjoyable
6 August 2011 | by blahblahblahtobySee all my reviews

So to synopsisise this movie for you: Gus is a guy who lies about his sexual adventures, much like every guy ever, Jessica seems like a lost soul who is trying to connect with someone but having no luck. The pair meet at some terrible house party and a sparkle of light comes alive in both of them.

That's all I can share, it's a movie that is just over 60 minutes long, as with Small Town Murder Songs, that's hardly a real feature film in my eyes but in the short time you get to know these characters you feel like a lot happens, to go in to more depth about plot and storyline would be giving too much away I feel.

My first impressions were that it was a more accurate depiction of the behaviour of people in their early 20's than I remember seeing on film before. It had the feel of Larry Clark's Kids but without the delinquent storyline. As you may have realised from previous reviews I am a sucker for a bit of realism in film, the kitchen sink aesthetic being something I enjoy more than a lot of other viewers and whilst this doesn't reach the level of a Ben Wheatley movie for example it is sufficiently raw and true to suck me in from the very beginning.

Yes the quality of image is poor but you shoot a film with a standard digital camera it's not gonna look like Star Wars and it simply adds to the intended effect. Katz doesn't look at his equipment, think he's making a documentary and shake his camera about like we've all come to expect from every movie ever made, he does a strong job with what he has to hand and there are some beautifully framed shots throughout.

Sound as you would expect from a movie dubbed mumblecore isn't the crisp clear dialogue you get from a regular movie, characters talk over the top of each other, planes fly overhead, diegetic sounds interfere occasionally but not to the point where enjoyment is hindered or you need to use subtitles.

There's a lot of humour in the film, subtle but still there, watching Gus talk to his male friend Bill can feel like you're watching a live action Beavis and Butthead but I couldn't stop laughing all the same. So many terrible anecdotes are shared between characters, sentences are started and not finished, you've known people like this and been to parties where there's nothing but boring stories, at times it's like listening to your father-in -law talk about the internet but happily you can laugh in these people's faces. It's quite cathartic in that sense. And this is quite a different party to the one's we're used to seeing in American Pie and films of that sort. It's definitely closer to what I've experienced.

The character development is also small but then the story takes place over just a few days and I'm sure we've all complained at implausible character development in Hollywood film so this makes sense but what it does do is provide some wonderful moments with Gus trying to talk over his internal changes with Bill and a truly sweet ending to the film.

Overall despite knowing not all of you will enjoy I can't recommend this film enough. It's not perfect but it is enjoyable. I'm very much looking forward to Katz's followup Quiet City now. blahblahblahgay.blogspot

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Release Date:

12 March 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fiesta bailable, USA See more »

Filming Locations:

Portland, Oregon, USA


Box Office


$3,000 (estimated)
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