Joe Swanberg makes his first Sundance appearance with his most mature film, UNCLE KENT, an achingly true-to-life modern comedy about aging, loneliness, desire, and the awkward intimacies of online friendship. The film follows 40 year-old Kent (Kent Osborne) who is an unmarried children’s-show writer living alone with his cat in Los Angeles. He spends his days sketching gag cartoons and bouncing ideas off his hyperactive friend, Kev (Kevin Bewersdorf), and his nights staving off loneliness in Internet chat rooms. When one of Kent’s online acquaintances, environmental journalist Kate (Jennifer Prediger), crashes at his house for the weekend, he finds himself attracted to her coquettish manner and frank emotional openness but sexually frustrated by her fidelity to a distant boyfriend. Shot on location in Los Angeles, UNCLE KENT advances many themes and elements found in Swanberg’s early films (Hannah Takes The Stairs, Nights and Weekends, Alexander the Last), including freely improvised dialogue, art-mirrors-life setups, and a renewed emphasis on how technology and other social media enable (or disable) human connection. The cast includes previous collaborators Kent Osborne and composer/actor Kevin Bewersdorf, director Josephine Decker, and newcomer Jennifer Prediger. The film, which marks Swanberg’s Park City debut, will make its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and simultaneously on-demand on January 21.
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