Chained for Life


Rafael 3 Tue, Oct 9, 2018 6:00 PM
Rafael 3 Wed, Oct 10, 2018 9:15 PM
Film Info
Section:US Cinema
Running Time:92 min.
Director:Aaron Schimberg
Producer:Vanessa McDonnell
Daniel Patrick Carbone
Matthew Petock
Screenwriter:Aaron Schimberg
Cinematographer:Adam J. Minnick
Editor:Sofi Marshall
Cast:Jess Weixler
Adam Pearson
Charlie Korsmo
Stephen Plunkett
Sari Lennick
Print Source:Aaron Schimberg
Note Writer:Celeste Wong


“Actors and actresses who are beautiful start with an enormous advantage, because we love to look at them.” Pauline Kael’s quote opens Chained for Life, which takes place on the set of a campy exploitation flick. In the film-within-a-film, Mabel (Jess Weixler, Teeth) plays the beautiful, blind protagonist who falls in love with a disfigured man (Under the Skin’s Adam Pearson, who himself has neurofibromatosis) while they both await life-changing surgery from a mad scientist. When the director yells “cut,” the exploitation melts away, and we see the film’s cast (made up of actors with a wide variety of genetic physical differences) finally in circumstances that allow them to be in charge of their own narratives. This deeply original dark comedy, ripe with film references cinephiles will delight in, satirizes the film industry without cynicism; it’s ultimately about inclusion and the power in telling one’s own story—a refreshing rebuttal to Kael’s statement.

Additional Information

Aaron Schimberg is a filmmaker living in New York. His debut feature Go Down with Death (2013) was called “an astonishing out-of-nowhere film” by Filmmaker Magazine and “a stunning midnight movie in the tradition of Jodorowsky and The Saragossa Manuscript” by The Dissolve. He has received grants and fellowships from Cinereach, the New York Film Festival Artist Academy, Frontiéres, and the IFP Labs. Chained for Life is his second feature film.