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Mona (Eleanore Pienta) sees the world in a very different way in SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY

AMC Loews Village 7
66 Third Ave. at Eleventh St.
Saturday, April 5, $15, 9:00
Festival runs April 3-7

As writer-director Drew Tobia’s debut feature, See You Next Tuesday, opens, Mona (Eleanore Pienta) is standing still, staring straight ahead, mouth slightly agape, the camera pulling back ever so slowly as Brian McOmber’s sweetly European-sounding score plays, revealing that she is in a supermarket, out-of-focus shoppers passing by behind her. The scene beautifully sets the stage for what is to follow, an uncomfortable yet charming black comedy about a pregnant young woman who seems to exist in a different world from everyone else. A cashier at a Brooklyn Key Food, Mona is about to give birth, but she refuses to see a doctor or take care of herself in any way. She lives alone in a miserable apartment that doesn’t have its own bathroom or telephone. When she’s desperate, she goes to her loser mother, May (Dana Eskelson), an unpleasant alcoholic who lacks a maternal instinct; she wants to be Mona’s friend instead of parent. Mona also seeks out her sister, Jordan (Molly Plunk), who is estranged from their mother and is living with her older girlfriend, Sylve (Keisha Zollar). Mona, May, and Jordan are not exactly the brightest bulbs on the planet; they take family dysfunction to a whole new level. But at the center of it all is Mona, a young woman with something significantly off about her, unable to understand her very serious situation, acting out like a child when she doesn’t get what she wants, passing judgment on others without a filter, drinking and smoking even though her baby could come at any minute. But through all the nastiness, all the bitterness, all the cringe-worthy moments — and there are plenty — Tobia (Leperfuck, Ladyfemmes) still manages to make us care about this crazy family, even though we would never want to meet any of these women in real life. Pienta is dazzling as the overemotional, unpredictable Mona, immersing herself deeply into this mentally unstable character who has no boundaries (and whom Mona created for her own video and photograph series).

Mother and daughter have a rather unusual relationship in Drew Tobias debut feature

Mother and daughter have a rather unusual relationship in Drew Tobia’s debut feature

A film festival favorite that shared the Audience Award at the 2013 Chicago Underground Film Festival, See You Next Tuesday is being shown April 5 at Loews Village VII in the Special Screenings section of the second annual First Time Fest, which runs April 3-7 and celebrates the work of debut directors, writers, and producers. There are ten films in competition, including Mona Fastvoid’s The Sleepwalker, Mikael Berg’s Miss Julie, Rok Bicek’s Class Enemy, and Marieke Niestadt’s Bittersweet. There will also be a special screening of Anthony Leonardi III’s horror film Nothing Left to Fear, which was produced by and features original music from Slash, who will participate in the April 6 “How They Did It” panel discussion “From Rock to Score” with Duncan Sheik. Among the other talks are “Help Me Help You,” “Show Me the Money,” “We Need a Bigger Boat,” and “Sell, Baby, Sell.” On April 5 at 3:30, Michael Moore will discuss his career at the Stand Alone presentation, and Julie Taymor will receive the John Huston Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinema. The festival, which takes place at NeueHouse and Loews Village VII, will also present First Exposure, consisting of ten important debuts from the last fifty years, from David Lynch’s Eraserhead and Peter Bogdanovich’s Targets to Taymor’s Titus and Moore’s Roger & Me.

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