A Little Stiff

Director: Greg Watkins, Caveh Zahedi
Screenwriters: Greg Watkins, Caveh Zahedi

Institute History

  • 1991 Sundance Film Festival


If you've ever wondered why so few American filmmakers are engaged in telling simple stories about the everyday nature of our lives, this refreshing first film by directors Greg Watkins and Caveh Zahedi will give you reason to pause. A Little Stiff tells a simple story about the complexities of relationships and tells it in a genuine and funny way. The characters and story are based on real people. So real, in fact, that the actors play themselves in the situations they were actually in. The film's visual style, which relies heavily on long shots and often makes use of "real time," contributes to the sense of realism achieved by the situation and the characters.

The story unfolds in a highly improvisational manner and focuses on Caveh, a young, intellectual film student who becomes infatuated with a fellow student in the Art Department named Erin. As the title suggests, Caveh is a little stiff in his attempts to win her over, but he is equally single-minded in his determination to do so. As the "chase" ensues, we are inspired by his blind commitment to his cause, and, at the same time. saddened by his obvious vulnerability. We are also hopeful that his youth and well-disguised exuberance in the face of challenge will see him through his infatuation.

A Little Stiff which has been aptly described as a "meditational comedy," is funny and endearing. With its European sensibility about life in general, it makes a genuine, captivating film debut.

— Karen Arikian

Screening Details

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