Staccato Purr of the Exhaust

Director: L.M. Meza
Screenwriters: L.M. Meza

Institute History


Staccato Purr of the Exhaust takes deadpan comic absurdity to a new level. In this film, comedy bubbles to the surface as pressure builds. Told and photographed with deceptive simplicity, Staccato Purr of the Exhaust is a quiet film about a quiet guy named Leonard. When Leonard gets demoted at work, his girlfriend beats him up, and his passive-aggressive parents sell his bed in an effort to motivate him, he resigns himself to leading a progressively more miserable life. But when his parents try to sell his car, his one prized possession, it triggers a complete transformation in Leonard, and he decides to flee and change his name and his life forever. . . only things don’t quite work out that way.

Director Luis Meza effectively draws from each actor comic performances that are deftly realized and dry as a bone. Each character, including his “friend” Valenzuela, who takes pleasure in degrading Leonard’s self-esteem, seem vaguely sadistic, existing only to grind down his resistance, and his virtuous patience is mixed with equal parts of bad luck. Witty dialogue embedded in well-timed scenes as well as a genuinely moving performance by Ronald Garcia as the hapless Leonard makes Staccato Purr of the Exhaust a comedic pressure cooker that looks ready to blow.

— Christian Gaines

Screening Details

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