The Last Supper

Director: Stacey Title
Screenwriters: Dan Rosen

Institute History

  • 1996 Sundance Film Festival


As the Contract on America lays siege to any semblance of a progressive agenda, Stacy Title’s wicked social satire offers a refreshing respite: What happens when five politically correct Iowa grad students decide to screw praxis and “make the world a better place”? Every Sunday they whip up a gourmet repast, drink lots of wine, and exchange ideas with an invited guest. Their ritual takes a bizarre twist when Zack (Bill Paxton), a farm-boy-turned-Desert-Storm-vet shows up, espousing an affinity for Hitler. A calamitous accident gives way to a social-action brainstorm.

Soon the group is luring home a rich assortment of guests touting contrary philosophies—a homophobic reverend (Charles Durning), a man’s movement advocate (Mark Harmon), an avid antiabortionist, and finally a Rush Limbaugh clone (Ron Perlman). Initially their experiment invigorates their libidos, creative abilities, and aim. But before long, it becomes like their backyard bumper tomato crop—way out of control. Working with an appealing ensemble cast that really gels, Title balances the script’s lively, frequently funny passages with its darker, more suspenseful moments. The funky seventies tunes add a loopy dimension, as do the cinematic flourishes, which remind one of early Jane Campion.

— Laura Thielen

Screening Details

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