Institute History

  • 1996 Sundance Film Festival


Frisk is the much-anticipated adaptation of Dennis Cooper’s infamous novel about homosexuality, sadism, and insanity. Ironically, Dennis is also the name of the main character, whose lead we follow on this path between what is real and what we can only hope is surreal. The story, in the form of a succession of ritual-like murders, comes to life through the letters he writes to his sometime lover and best friend, Julian, and the object of his desire, Julian’s younger brother, Kevin. But it is Dennis’s psyche which we actually explore, crisscrossing between the blatantly sexy and the outright scary and descending into the most
intriguing state of all—a chilling asexuality.

Verow has remained unflinchingly true to the texture of the book. He maintains an amazingly firm grasp of this explicit material while also achieving an unnerving clarity of nuance and subtext. The cast is full of top-notch independent talent, and the film features a superb score by Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and the British bands, Coil and Elph.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

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