In the beginning of March, on the day of the premiere of the film at SXSW festival, we saw the promising first teaser of the director’s and screenwriter Riley Stearns (“Faults”) of the absurd black comedy “The Art Of Self-Defense”. The teaser was not one of the most revealing ones, but we had a wonderful experience of the atmosphere of the film and the crafty, comedic tone and, in general, managed to intrigue us. A few days ago, Bleecker Street presented a full trailer that sheds some light on story and reinforces our good impressions.
“The Art Of Self-Defense” tells of Casey Davis (Jesse Eisenberg), an agitated humble accountant who, after being attacked by a band of bikers, decides to enroll in karate lessons in an attempt to overcome his anxiety. Under the watchful leadership of the charismatic instructor Sensei (Alessandro Nivola) and the tough and brown-haired Ana (Imogen Poots), Casey gains a sense of confidence for the first time in his life. But visiting Sensei’s mysterious night hours, he discovers an ominous world of fraternity, brutality and super-masculinity that puts him at the center of the attention of his enigmatic new mentor.
As you can see from the quotes that pop up during the trailer, “The Art Of Self-Defense” received quite good reviews from a screening at South by Southwest and later at the Chicago festival. Not that this should be an indisputable quality guarantee but it is a nice confirmation of our personal feelings from the two ads. We like these “awkward” movies, and Jesse Eisenberg is perfect for the role. Alessandro Nivola also seems to be doing well. As we said before, we’d love to take a look at “The Art Of Self-Defense,” but we will not expect anything special.
Riley Stearns is a director and screenwriter of “The Art Of Self-Defense”, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Poots, Steve Therada, and others.
The premiere is on July 12th.