A little film called Chained For Life had its international premiere at this year’s Fantasia Film Festival. I saw it, I loved it, and immediately gushed out one of my more fawning reviews. Centred around a horror production that stars a host of disfigured and disabled actors (in a direct riposte to Freaks), it’s a film that deals with prejudice and representation in Hollywood and elsewhere, and it’s funny, moving, and challenging all at once. You’ll rarely see a film that busts open an issue as thoroughly as this one does - or with as much quietly surreal style.
And now there’s a wee teaser trailer out, for your viewing pleasure. My review is quoted in it! How lovely.
The team could not have picked a more representative scene from the film, thematically speaking: it’s a portion (but incredibly, not all) of a sequence in which the Herzog-like director of the film within the film struggles to communicate with his star Rosenthal (Adam Pearson). He’s directing the scene to maximise audience shock at the actor’s physical disfigurement, but obviously can’t come out and say that, so talks himself into rhetorical knots trying to get what he wants - all while Rosenthal is left bemused by the whole process.
It’s a great scene, in a great movie, and if you’re lucky enough to be attending Fantastic Fest this coming week, you can see Chained For Life there. My FOMO at being unable to attend this year can be mollified only by the promise of hearing the responses to this wonderful film. Looking forward to those tweets!