Archives / 2008 Sundance Film Festival

Goliath

Director: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner

Screenwriters: David Zellner

Institute History

  • 2008 Sundance Film Festival

Description

Good writers of all kinds rely on basic observations about human nature. This is especially true in comedy, and that's exactly what makes Goliath hilarious. A bare-bones production, it's a study in economical storytelling that lives up to its name in laughs.

Beginning with the opening photo montage of a man, his cat, and the scratched-out face of his soon-to-be ex-wife, Goliath ripples with insights into the human condition—specifically, the condition of a man working in a dead-end job, going through a divorce, and coping with a missing cat. The crappy job and the divorce he can take, but the absent cat is too much. He focuses his frustration on broadening his neighborhood search, posting flyers, offering a reward, even seeking out the assistance of a private investigator. When his worst fears are confirmed, he snaps—but realizes in the end where happiness can be found.

The plot of the film is secondary, however, to the comical moments sprinkled throughout. Finding humor in the trimming of a moustache, the signing of divorce papers, and the inane lunchroom banter of coworkers, brothers David and Nathan Zellner show they are as perceptive as they are funny. With three prior shorts at the Festival, they return with a feature that is simultaneously deadpan, stark, strange, realistic, and amusing. Goliath further establishes their comedic talent and distinctive vision.

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

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