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Sunday, June 21, 2015

BAMcinémaFest Review: UNCLE KENT 2

BAMcinémaFest Review
2015, 73 minutes
Not Rated

Review by Joshua Handler

Uncle Kent 2?! What is Uncle Kent? How could there possibly be a sequel to a film that virtually no one has seen? The answer is because we are living in an age where anything and everything is possible. And that's a good thing. Before hearing all of the raves for Uncle Kent 2 out of SXSW this year, I had never heard of Uncle Kent. Uncle Kent is a little-seen 2011 film by Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies, Happy Christmas) starring Kent Osborne. Uncle Kent 2's first segment is directed by Joe Swanberg (it features Kent Osborne pitching Uncle Kent 2 to Swanberg) and the last hour is directed by Todd Rohal. It's nearly impossible to synopsize Uncle Kent 2 because it's "about" so much and is made of so many crazy pieces.

Uncle Kent 2 has everything and the kitchen sink and then some in it. It's the kind of film where Rohal, Osborne, and crew decided that they would put everything they could in without caring if it made sense in the traditional kind of way. I say "traditional" because after about 20 minutes, we realize that anything is possible in this movie.

I can't say whether Uncle Kent 2 is a "good" or "bad" movie, but I can say that it is worth a watch if you can handle something this offbeat. It's a film full of ideas that are explored in a manner that no one can fault for being unoriginal. The cast seems to be enjoying themselves immensely, which makes viewing Uncle Kent 2 like watching a group of friends making a bizarre home movie at a party. Of particular note is Steve Little who plays a doctor who helps Kent with an auditory issue. His performance is among the more memorable in a film full to the brim of memorable performances.

Overall, there hasn't been another movie quite like Uncle Kent 2. Again, it isn't for everyone, but this one will hopefully find its audience. This is a cult film in the making. And hey, if you don't get anything else out of this movie, maybe it will introduce you to the work of Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies is one of my favorites of the past few years).

There's no way to assign a score on a film like this. I will say that I recommend Uncle Kent 2 to those who love cult films.

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