|8:30PM||Live Music by Emily Reo|
Lower East Side
350 Grand Street, New York, NY 10002
F, J, M, Z to Delancey Street-Essex Street; B, D, Q to Grand Street
A special World Premiere of the new black comedy from New York based filmmaker Zachary Raines.
It’s not easy being heart-broken, down on your luck, and out on your own in New York City—particularly when you’re a Grade A jerk.
All of us know someone like Frank (Kyle Espeleta). He’s kind of clever, but a little too much of a smart ass. He’ll make you chuckle—until he aims his sarcasm at you. He’s a bright guy, but he hasn’t held down a job in a while. It’s true he’s over-qualified for the menial job you landed for him, but did he have to be so dismissive when he quit? It may seem easy to write off someone like Frank, but it’s hard to take your eyes off him as this insightful dark comedy makes you squirm awkwardly.
Freeloader (Zachary Raines | New York, NY | 77 min.)
An establishing shot outside a Brooklyn apartment shows a graveyard, telling us it’s morning, and it’s not going to be a good one. Inside, Frank is hung over (again). He would’ve overslept work if he had a job, but he has missed his opportunity to have that relationship talk with Pearl he so desperately, drunkenly wanted to have late last night. It seems like Frank just can’t catch a break—or is it that he keeps breaking things?
When Pearl (Vassi Spanos) tenderly tries to break up with him, Frank (as usual) makes an awkward situation more difficult than it has to be: he simplifies things, spins them around, and simultaneously goes on the attack while feigning victimhood. It’s a masterful maneuver, as far as dick moves go. As uncomfortable as Frank’s faux pas are, they’re always uncomfortably funny.
Perhaps Frank’s gripes are justified, but he’s always digging in for a fight, overtly passive-aggressive, and he manages to make everyone involved feel badly. Even while living off the gifts of others, Frank makes sure to his best friend Bud (John Siciliani), his ex-girlfriend Pearl, and anyone else he encounters won’t be happy with or without him. At last, while shacking up with overly-eager Ray (“with the pedophile smile”), it appears that Frank might be recognizing something about himself, coming out of his bitter shell. Frank goes to Ray’s (Jesse Wakeman) comedy show—a blinding bomb of a performance that serves as the metaphoric epicenter of the movie—and for the first time Frank earnestly tries to project empathy. It’s almost tragic how badly that comes off. This is, after all, a dude who’s even sarcastic to the sea.
Writer-Director-Editor Zachary Raines delicately draws sharp and nuanced performances out of the entire cast, and cuts the naturalistic dialogue crisply, keeping each scene light and funny, even when the subtext sinks further and further into negativity. Freeloader is on some level a fantastic farce, set in a New York City neo-realism that satirizes some of our society’s delightfully nasty tendencies.
- Mark Elijah Rosenberg
"Emily Reo just sounds good period. No matter what she’s doing, whether its hi-fi or lo-fi or chilled folk wave retro garage diddies. Emily Reo’s music just seems to ring true. And of course, she does dabble in a little of everything, showing the range of talent, but also the artistic vision to make it all harmonious. Again, go pick these albums up, because I have a feeling 2K11 has Emily Reo written all over it." - Pasta Primavera