Building on the promise of his hallucinogenic debut Go Down Death, filmmaker Aaron Schimberg delivers another brilliantly oddball, acerbically funny foray into gonzo surrealism. In a deft tragicomic performance, Jess Weixler (Teeth) plays Mabel, a movie star “slumming it” in an outré art-horror film being shot in a semi-abandoned hospital. Cast opposite her is Rosenthal (Under the Skin's Adam Pearson), a gentle-natured young man with a severe facial deformity. As their relationship evolves both on and offscreen, Schimberg raises provocative questions about cinematic notions of beauty, representation, and exploitation. Tod Browning crossed with Robert Altman crossed with David Lynch only begins to describe something this startlingly original and deeply felt. – BAMcinemaFest
“Critic’s Pick! An inventive hall of mirrors… that keeps finding ways to upend its characters’ — and viewers’ — perspectives. Odd, darkly funny and — when it means to be — a little frightening.”
"Extraordinary. A cinematic revolution."
"Humane and transgressive, an American indie of unusually big ideas and aesthetic ambition."
"Bizarre and beautiful. Leaves us on thrillingly shifty ground."
"Mesmerizing. A remarkable mind trip of a movie sure to leave audiences reeling."
"Razor-sharp. Mesmerizingly close to the sensation of a waking dream."
"An intoxicating whirlwind of ideas, spectacularly moving and entertaining. Chained for Life could be a defining film about representation for any group that Hollywood marginalizes."
Directed by Aaron Schimberg