Mary Bronstein presents: Yeast (2008)
A rare screening of Mary Bronstein's blackly comic debut feature, featuring a standout performance from Greta Gerwig, with the director in person.
Jan 29, 2023, 7:30 PM
2220 Arts + Archives, 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057, USA
Directed by Mary Bronstein
2008, 78m, U.S., DCP
With director Mary Bronstein and actress Amy Judd in person
The blackly comic debut feature of filmmaker-actress Mary Bronstein is a raw portrait of toxic female friendships at their breaking point, and remains among the most confrontational American independent films of the 2000s. Shot on MiniDV and produced during the wave of micro-budget, character-driven films of the era—often referred to as “mumblecore”—the Brooklyn-set Yeast follows a passive-aggressive schoolteacher (Bronstein) whose patience is tested when dealing with her anguished unemployed roommate (Amy Judd) while preparing to go on a camping trip with their eccentric, impulsive friend Jen (Greta Gerwig in a standout performance). Shot by cinematographer Sean Price Williams with camera assistance (and cameos) from Josh and Benny Safdie, Yeast is both a sobering foil to husband Ronald Bronstein’s expressionistic nightmare Frownland, and a hilarious chamber drama full of arsenic.
Special thanks to Neal Wynne, Sabrina Greco, Alec Moeller and Greg Sheppard.
“Gerwig’s actorly inventiveness, in all its wild spontaneity, has rarely had such a showcase…The handheld cinematography, by Sean Price Williams and a quartet of others (including the director Josh Safdie), powerfully evokes the women’s furious reckoning with their outer constraints and inner chaos. Bronstein’s exhilarating meditation on performance and identity advances to a resolution that is as surprising as it is transcendent.” -Richard Brody, The New Yorker
“The definitive micro-masterpiece of the SXSW/Slamdance years. Like its spiritual predecessor Frownland, Yeast does away with the sentimentalities of its mumblecore brethren: this one’s straight up mean Mike Leigh… One of the most vicious send-ups of combustive female friendships, arrested development, and passive aggression ever committed to screen. It’s only gotten more incisive with age…” -Jon Dieringer, Screen Slate
“Resolutely indelicate, often absurd, and really, really funny.” -Karina Longworth