Funny Face

What does romance look like in times of housing insecurity and shocking, widening wealth gaps? In a Brooklyn threatened by disfigurement as a result of real estate speculation, two young people meet in a late-night bodega. Saul and Zama are two orphans of unchecked capitalism brought together by circumstance, who thrive in spite of their differences and bring each other solace. Meanwhile, up in his ivory tower, the rich man responsible for their predicament struggles to find reasons to smile. This film takes a central, complex social issue – urban development and gentrification – and turns it into a universal metaphor for survival in times of displacement. Director Tim Sutton delicately explores how, in today’s “real” world, being a superhero means being able to recognise beauty and how, if it is truly impossible to defeat the oppressive greed of the powerful, we can at least help each other to survive it. In this way Funny Face is, without doubt, a very modern romantic tale.
by Tim Sutton
with Cosmo Jarvis, Dela Meskienyar, Jonny Lee Miller, Victor Garber, Jeremy Bobb, Rhea Pearlman, Dan Hedaya
USA 2019 English 95’ Colour World premiere

With

  • Cosmo Jarvis (Saul)
  • Dela Meskienyar (Zama)
  • Jonny Lee Miller (Developer)
  • Victor Garber (Developer's Father)
  • Jeremy Bobb (American Suit)
  • Rhea Pearlman (Fernie)
  • Dan Hedaya (Benj)

Crew

Written and Directed byTim Sutton
CinematographyLucas Gath
EditingKate Abernathy
MusicPhil Mossman
Sound DesignEli Cohn
Production DesignAlan Lampert
CostumesLizzie Donelan
Make-UpHolly Corsano
Assistant DirectorMary Kerrigan
CastingAllison Twardziak
ProducersAndrew Morrison, Alexandra Byer, Madeleine Askwith
Executive ProducersMark Lampert, Oscar S. Schafer
Co-Executive ProducersAndres Figueredo, Juan Carlos Figueredo

Tim Sutton

Born in Syracuse, New York in 1970, the director and screenwriter made his directing debut in 2012 with Pavilion. His second film Memphis and his third Dark Night, loosely based on the 2012 Aurora Cineplex massacre, were both selected for Venice and Sundance. Donnybrook, produced by David Lancaster (Drive, Whiplash), celebrated its premiere in Toronto while Funny Face screened in the 2020 Encounters section of the Berlinale. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two sons.

Filmography

2012 Pavilion 2013 Memphis 2016 Dark Night 2018 Donnybrook 2019 Funny Face 2021 The Last Son 2022 Taurus

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2022