Schadenfreude: It’s pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. How better to escape your own life than to watch, say, a film about a man living in his parents’ house and misguidedly trying to score the heart of a socially awkward Selma Blair? Throw in Christopher Walken and Mia Farrow as the parents, and Dark Horse is a shoo-in for best life-reliever. The film presents the common “toy-collecting, man-childish underdog-meets-depressive-beauty” theme at its finest. Director and storyteller Todd Solondz, known for creating misanthropic worlds in his films, uses a complicated formula to relay his dark comedy: switching from dream to reality, shifting points of view, and overpowering scenes with internal dialogue. The pudgy protagonist is played by Jordan Gelber, and his angry yet innocuous character believes that the world, especially his parents, has cheated him out of the life he deserves.
Tue., Aug. 14, 7:15 & 9 p.m., 2012