Film Review: WYRM

It’s difficult to impart a sense of Christopher Winterbauer’s feature debut, Wyrm without making it sound like a bit of a drag. The films’ own synopsis compares it to Yorgos Lanthimos (presumably The Lobster) and Todd Solondz, (presumably Welcome to the Dollhouse). The film also lends itself to comparisons to Napoleon Dynamite, but again, this is unfair. Winterbauer’s film, based on his 2017 short, isn’t nearly as nihilistic as Lanthimos or Solondz, and it’s much more nuanced than Jared Hess’ breakout smash. On its face, the script is about the mortifying awkwardness and quiet indignity of junior high sexuality, but underneath, it’s a poignant exploration of grief and the myriad ways it manifests. 

Wyrm (Theo Taplitz) is the unfortunately-monikered titular protagonist and his origin story is tragic. Born with a heart condition, he is the latest of bloomers, and literally the last kid in his 8th grade class to complete his Level 1 Sexuality Requirement. Until he’s kissed by a willing romantic partner, Wyrm must don a bulky, chafing collar around his neck, telegraphing his predicament to everyone he encounters. His twin sister, Myrcella (Azure Brandi), was once his closest confidant. But now that she’s “popped her collar,” she wants nothing to do with him and is even angling for her own room…

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Paid in Puke S3E9: Lynn Shelton Special

lynn ep artOn this episode of Paid in Puke, we pay tribute to the late Seattle film auteur, Lynn Shelton, who recently passed away unexpectedly at the age of 54. We celebrate her career with 2013’s Touchy Feely, which Lynn also wrote, and 2014’s Laggies, written by Andrea Seigel.

Touchy Feely stars Rosemarie Dewitt and Ellen Page. Laggies stars Kiera Knightly and Chloe Grace Mortez. They share common themes of women who are at an existential crossroads and must take drastic steps to move forward.

Lynn was very beloved, not just in Seattle, but by all who knew her. Rest in Power, Lynn.