A/V Room









Brick - Preview

Preview by: Jack Foley

ONE of the most intriguing times of any film year is watching which films emerge from the Sundance Film Festival in January.

The yearly curtain-raiser consistently throws up some of the most interesting independent films of any year, as well as provides a showcase for some of the hottest new talent.

Looking ahead this year, one of the contenders for festival favourite is Rian Johnson's Brick, which is entered into the dramatic section.

Both written and directed by Johnson, Brick features Joseph Gordon-Levitt as high-school loner, Brendan Fry, a smart kid who knows all the angles but chooses to stay on the outside.

However, when the love of his life turns up dead, he dives into the school's social strata to find out why and who was responsible.


The ensuing investigation leads him to several suspects - all of whom represent familiar character stereotypes brought to viewers in an apparently unfamiliar style.

For instance, a sociopathic sexpot is the queen of the drama geeks, while the police chief is also the vice-principal, and a trusy operative is a nerd in coke-bottle glasses.

The main suspect is played by Lukas Haas, and takes the form of a 26-year-old drug dealer who lives in his mom's basement.

According to Trevor Groth, on the Sundance Film Festival website, Gordon-Levitt 'unleashes an inspired performance as the fast-talking, ultra-cool protagonist', while writer-director, Johnson, 'displays a complete understanding of cinematic language, paying homage to the classics but also creating his own style by injecting the film with contemporary exuberance, humor, and locale'.

He concludes that 'Brick is a directorial debut of extraordinary promise'.

Whether audiences will agree remains to be seen, but its take on High School life might just place it among this year's ultra-cool bracket occupied by the likes of Mean Girls and Saved! in 2004.

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