Sun Oct 22, 4:45 PM
Director: Sean Price Williams
United States
104 minutes
MA 15+

From the minds of Sean Price Williams and Nick Pinkerton comes a psychedelic road trip through America’s countercultures.

One of the audience favourites from this year’s Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, The Sweet East is the sardonic directorial debut from Sean Price Williams (cinematographer for the Safdie brothers, Alex Ross Perry, and music videos for A$AP Rocky and Boygenius). Film critic Nick Pinkerton’s genre-hopping screenplay follows high-schooler Lillian (Talia Ryder) as she absconds from an excursion to Washington D.C., and drifts into a long, strange trip across America’s fractious underbelly, encountering extremists and grifters of every stripe along the way, and becoming the subject of their varied political and artistic projections. Shot on 16mm and featuring unexpected turns from Red Rocket’s Simon Rex and Australia’s Jacob Elordi (Euphoria), lead Ryder is the true revelation in this psychedelic picaresque satire of contemporary America.

“You can easily imagine it programmed alongside the likes of American Honey, Badlands, The Doom Generation or Gummo in a retrospective about disaffected young Americans and the often peculiar country they hail from.” (Variety)

“There’s a beauty to the grittiness of The Sweet East and to the way that Williams renders the familiar: The American landscape – whether it’s the washed stone monuments of Washington D.C., the great green densities of New Jersey or the gray sidewalks of New York – is a dreamy vision.” (The Hollywood Reporter)

Film Type Feature Fiction
Program Strand World Cinema
Language English
Director Sean Price Williams
Producer Craig Butta, Alex Coco, Alex Ross Perry
Writer Nick Pinkerton
Cinematographer Sean Price Williams
Editor Stephen Gurewitz
Music Paul Grimstad
Cast Talia Ryder, Earl Cave, Simon Rex, Ayo Edebiri, Jeremy O. Harris, Jacob Elordi, Rish Shah
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Post Modern, Road Movie, Satire