The Art Of Self-Defense
Official Selection: SXSW, MIFF, Seattle International Film Festival, NZIFF, Edinburgh Film Festival
“The Art of Self-Defense feels like an instant offbeat comedy classic – one to be endlessly quoted and shared and revisited for years to come.” – Birth.Movies.Death
“…Due to the vision of director Riley Stearns and his incredible production team, as well as a top-notch cast, the movie is as hilarious as it is unpredictable. It emerges as a strong early contender for best film of the year.” - Film Threat
Imagine Fight Club, penned by Paul Schrader and featuring the kind of characters that typically inhabit a Jared Hess film and you’re part way to picturing the one-of-a-kind oddity that is The Art of Self Defense. After a humiliating attack at the hands of group of bikers, mild-mannered accountant Casey (Jesse Eisenberg) enrols himself in a local karate class to try and reclaim his power. He quickly falls under the spell of his macho Sensei (a brilliantly deadpan Alessandro Nivola) and begins a dark transformation into precisely the kind of bully he once sought to overcome. As pointed as it is hilarious, The Art of Self-Defense is a darkly comic, often shocking takedown of toxic masculinity and cultural appropriation that intelligently explores the shortcomings of aggression while mining plenty of uncomfortable laughs along the way.