Inside Monkey Zetterland

Director: Jefery Levy
Screenwriters: Steven Antin

Institute History

  • 1993 Sundance Film Festival


Jefery Levy's Inside Monkey Zetterland is a darkly humorous ensemble piece about an unsuccessful screenwriter. Monkey Zetterland (played by Steven Antln, who also wrote the film), who is surrounded by an idiosyncratic cast of characters, namely his family. With an overbearing soap-opera star for a mother (Katherine Helmond), a self-absorbed hairdresser brother (Tate Donavan), a sister (Patricia Arquette) whose lesbian lover is pregnant, a father (Bo Hopkins) who visits only annually and a girlfriend (Debi Mazar) who finds him boring, our hero has his hands full. Add to this mix an adoring fan (Sandra Bernhard), who likes to drive people around, and a neighbor (Martha Plimpton), who is trying to “out" homosexuals in Hollywood. Just getting through each day is a triumph for Monkey. The eclectic Los Angeles backdrop accentuates the film's eccentricity.

This is the second teaming of Levy and Antin, whose previous film, Drive, won the UCCA International Critic's Week Award in the 1991 Venice Film Festival. A native of Los Angeles, Levy offers us a colorful look at the city from the not-so-glamorous side. At times mocking and at others poignant. Inside Monkey Zetterland gives us a glimpse of the new American family. Gone are the days of the traditional nuclear family; enter neurotic bonding. People float together and become entwined on many levels. Yet Monkey's family is at its best when spending time in the living room telling stories—a traditional American pastime. With its many twists and surprise, the film's action never tires. Levy creates a world where anything but the predictable may happen. Inside Monkey Zetterland will keep you guessing all the way.

Saturday Jan 23 7:30 pm
Holiday Village Cinema III

Monday Jan 25 4:00 pm
Egyptian Theatre

Wednesday Jan 27 1:30 pm
Holiday Village Cinema III

Thursday Jan 28 8:30 pm
Tower Theatre, Salt Lake City

Friday Jan 29 10:30 pm
Holiday Village Cinema III


— Lisa Viola

Screening Details

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