Suzi and the Mechanic

Institute History


Suzi is an art lecturer at UCLA who happens to collect mid-twentieth century decorative arts. She's very rich. Her best pal is a wealthy, confused but lovestruck skateboarder named Renato. Together they conspire against German collectors in Cologne, Japanese buyers in Tokyo, and a duo of mysterious American investors. The stakes are high—dealers and collectors are dying (literally) to locate a prototype Charles Eames chaise. The worlds of high art, fashion, philosophy, S&M, conceptualism, big business, underground sex, and what's left of the spy scene collide in the ultra-hip L.A. of the '90s.

But no matter how beautifully Suzi manipulates her world, it collapses when a dirty but sexy mechanic, Buzz, changes her tire on a dirt road one dark night. Suzi falls for Buzz when he helps her seize a George Nelson console. Almost against his wishes, Buzz feels a spark for Suzi—something very real and emotional. But Buzz also sees Suzi's upper class world as an arena of self-deception. For her part, Suzi has never actually been in love (you can't be cool and emotional at the same time), and her authentic emotions for Buzz startle, worry, and ultimately push her to confront the betrayals and compromises on which her world is built. She is not going to emerge unscathed. Love hurts. And costs. That's why it means something.

The dissonant relationship between Suzi and Buzz is contrasted by the struggles and deception surrounding an objet d'art in the trendy and rarely seen Art-World of the late twentieth century. But SUZI AND THE MECHANIC is not just a love story in an exotic locale. It is no parody. Ultimately, it is a comedy about the dangers of being smart and cool. And empty.


As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]