Director: Peter McCarthy
Screenwriters: Peter McCarthy

Institute History

  • 1994 Sundance Film Festival


Peter McCarthy's first directional effort, after having produced five features with directors ranging from Alex Cox to Keenan Ivory Wayans, is a modern picaresque journey through post riot Los Angeles, John Boyz is an alienated, marginal figure, struggling to find a stable existence in a universe which seems constantly to thwart him. Brilliantly personified by James Le Gros, Boyz appears to be always on the edge of a nervous breakdown or about to surrender to inner demons of rage and violence.

Mirroring his own state of mind is a Los Angeles which is in revolt and chaos Boyz moves from one scene to the next as his world collapses: his savings account is seized by the IRS, his unemployment insurance is canceled, his drug-addicted brother walks out of his rehabilitation program, his so-called girlfriend is too busy with her sexual escapades to be of any support. All the while Los Angeles burns. An even more ominous weight on Boyz's mind is the increasingly villainous police chief.

Episodic in structure, Floundering fluctuates between reality and dream/fantasy as Boyz searches for answers for himself and for society McCarthy's creative talent is invigorating and engaging. At times comedic, at others poignant and questioning, Floundering is in the mythic tradition of Don Quixote. Tilting at windmills, ever romantic in its assumptions and perceptions, this is a nineties' quest for purpose, peace, truth and understanding that may seem naive, but is actually timeless and relevant. The film is blessed with an outstanding cast of bit players and cameos, including appearances by Ethan Hawke, John Cusack, Steve Buscemi, Lisa Zane, Kim Wayans, Viggo Mortenson and Bill Fishman, to mention only a few. Entertaining and lively,Floundering is an ode for our eyes,

Friday Jan 21 10:20 am
Holiday Village Cinema II

Saturday Jan Z2 6:00
Tower Theatre, Salt Lake City

Tuesday Jan 25 9:30 pm
Park CITy library Center

Thursday Jan 21 3:00 pm
Prospector Square Theatre

Saturday Jan 29 10:40 am
Holiday Village Cinema III


— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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