Chained for Life | Denver Film Society | Aaron Schimberg | USA

Chained for Life

Aaron Schimberg

American Indie, Dark Comedy

EnglishUSA201891 min


No upcoming showtimes scheduled.


Filmmaker Aaron Schimberg (Go Down Death, DFF36) returns to the festival with this exhilaratingly strange yet moving meta-satire about two actors—one a starlet, the other a gentle soul with a severe facial deformity—exploring their roles and their lives together on the creepy hospital set of an exploitation-horror film.

Indie darling Jess Weixler plays Mabel, a movie star going beneath her pay grade for the chance to work with a brilliant (at least according to him) European director in the German Expressionist vein, who has brought in a cast of characters we would once have called “circus freaks”—conjoined twins, a hermaphrodite, a bearded lady and so on—to populate his sanatorium run by a mad doctor. And then there’s Rosenthal, Mabel’s co-star. He’s charming, kind, and funny. He (like the actor who plays him, Under the Skin’s Adam Pearson) also happens to have neurofibramotosis. As the shoot progresses and their relationship deepens, so do the questions Chained for Life raises about the meaning of beauty, self-determination, and the exploitation of the Other.

Cinematographer Adam J. Minnick will be in attendance for all screenings.

Producer: Vanessa McDonnell, Daniel Patrick Carbone, Matthew Petock, Dan Schoenbrun, Zachary Shedd | Editor: Sofi Marshall | Cinematographer: Adam J. Minnick | Screenwriter: Aaron Schimberg
Cast: Jess Weixler, Adam Pearson, Charlie Korsmo, Stephen Plunkett, Sari Lennick