6.5/10
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2 user 1 critic

Lions' Den (2007)

A group of old friends are hanging at one of their houses exchanging stories of sexual escapades, awaiting another friend to arrive so they can celebrate a birthday at a nude bar. When one ... See full summary »

Director:

Frank Mosley

Writers:

Matthew Buck (additional dialogue), Aaron Hunter (additional dialogue) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Matthew Buck Matthew Buck ... Matthew
Gideon Seaman Gideon Seaman ... Gideon
Aaron Hunter Aaron Hunter ... Aaron
Robby Storey Robby Storey ... Robby
Frank Mosley ... Frank
Drew Kondraske Drew Kondraske ... Drew
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Storyline

A group of old friends are hanging at one of their houses exchanging stories of sexual escapades, awaiting another friend to arrive so they can celebrate a birthday at a nude bar. When one of them is suddenly accused of having masturbated in his friend's bathroom, what starts as a McCarthy-era trial of accusations at one individual suddenly escalates into a night of judgment that tests the truth of their words and the strength of all their friendships. LIONS' DEN is an entirely improvised drama using both actors and non actors shot over the course of an evening, based from a loose outline. It ultimately is a probing of the way men behave with one another. It also emphasizes the way people point the finger at others to hide their own sins and actions. A melting pot of lies, truths, egos, and masculinity that is stirred with documentary-style filmmaking. Written by Backyard Movies

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Adults only.

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 August 2007 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Arlington, Texas, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Ind. DIY film-making & conversations about bodily fluids mark this artistic short! Wonderful
24 November 2007 | by MJStyloSee all my reviews

Frank Mosley's LIONS' DEN is a brave narrative short. Mosley bypasses the big plot heavy events that drive most commercial fare, takes commendable risks and chooses to highlight how the nuances of simple conversation - the wavering of emotion, and the tone of the room can communicate a great deal about people. The strength of this piece lies in the acting and the sound design. The shaky medium-grade videoography is instantly forgiven, or even embraced as an aesthetic tool while the dialogue and delivery consume the viewer with genuine interest. A particular standout is the performance of Matthew Buck, the actor who plays Matthew the center of the night's attention. His shy "include-me" posturing is shot and played to a heartbreaking tee. Another standout performance is contributed by the groups' alpha dog funny man/storyteller played by the sublimely talented young actor Gideon Seaman, whose skill at natural improvisation seems inborn.

I would without hesitation locate this film within the emerging American Independent Film movement often termed Mumble core or Mumble Corps. or Slack-a-vettes. The seminal films of this movement are often cited as Funny Ha Ha and Mutual Appreciation by Andrew Bujalski, The Puffy Chair by the Duplass Bros., Kissing on the Mouth, LOL, and Hannah Takes the Stairs by Joe Swanberg and Quiet City by Aaron Katz. These feature films are often accompanied by shorts or web serials, of which I would include LIONS' DEN. The ingredients involve a DIY mode of production, naturalistic acting style, improvised or not, largely plot less wandering narratives, twenty-something guys looking for meaning or self-definition, and an interest in the art of conversation. These are vague wandering criteria certainly, but it has revived an interest in the connoisseurship of good homegrown American Independent film that genuinely aspires to be art rather than commodity - and who can argue that is a bad thing?

Apart from induction into any official schema or genre, Moseley's' LIONS' DEN is an outright achievement in old-fashion film-making. The scenario at the heart of LIONS' DEN is inherently funny when taken out of context; it could have easily delved off into bouts of self-conscious over-the-topness. Moseley stays with the natural discomfort and the momentum of tension that mounts throughout the scene, without indulging in melodrama.

He is a promising filmmaker and I look forward to seeing what he will do in the future.


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