Archives / 1996 Sundance Film Festival

House

Director: Laurie Lynd

Screenwriters: Laurie Lynd, Daniel Maclvor

Institute History

  • 1996 Sundance Film Festival

Description

House is Laurie Lynd’s much-anticipated feature debut, based on the Chalmers Award–winning play, House, which was directed by Daniel Brooks and written by Daniel MacIvor. A spinster teacher (Patricia Collins) is courted by the school janitor (Stephen Ouimette). Reduced to desperation by her indifference, he finally begs to know what he can do to make her see him. “Throw five boys off a bridge” is her reply.

This is the first of ten vignettes that punctuate the film, lending the narrative its most cinematic and strangely dark moments. A curious crowd of ten arrives at the local church. The spinster schoolteacher is among them. So it is that Victor (Daniel MacIvor), fresh out of group therapy, exposes his desperate need for acceptance to a group of perfect strangers. In an intense, fiercely paced monologue, Victor spews a paranoid version of his life, sparing no one. His mother is possessed, his father wants to kill him, his wife doesn’t love him, and the people in his therapy group are downright weird. Victor revels in his power to shock. The members of the audience fidget as their messiah-for-an-hour recounts, one by one, intimate moments from their own lives. Like all outsiders, Victor makes his audience—and that means us—uncomfortable. Ultimately, that is why we stay.

— Sandra Cunningham, Toronto Film Festival

Screening Details

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