Shithouse

Shithouse

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Competition Narrative Feature

Shithouse

Directed by: Cooper Raiff

USA, 2020, 100m

Southeast Premiere

Cinema’s love affair with “college” can easily be summed up as a colorful montage of frats run amok, revenging nerds, and gaggles of girls gone wild. Precious few films look at this unique rite of passage, in the grey area between adolescence and adulthood, with the ambiguous and often muted tones of reality. Multi-hyphenate Cooper Raiff (actor, director, writer, producer, editor) has taken on a herculean task with his debut film—distill your disaffected college experience into one long night. Winner of the Grand Jury Award for Narrative Feature at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival, this heartfelt film follows lonely freshman Alex (Raiff) who has closed himself off from his peers and, at best, endures the antics of his obnoxious roommate. But everything changes one night when Alex takes a leap and attends a party at Shithouse, where he forges a strong connection with Maggie (Dylan Gelula, Her Smell, FFF 2019). When she ignores him the next day, Alex desperately pleas for things to go back to the way they were before. Walking a lo-fi line between Before Sunrise and the mumblecore movement, Raiff introduces himself as a precise and exceptionally interesting new voice in indie cinema. Smart, funny, and moving, Shithouse should be required viewing at every freshmen orientation.