Little Men, Dir. Ira Sachs, USA, 2016, 107 mins, English
This screening is followed by a Q&A with actress Paulina Garcia, hosted by Maria Delgado.
Greeted with rave reviews when it premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, American director Ira Sachs’ Little Men is a coming-of-age film set in gentrifying Brooklyn. The organic and tenderly observed flourishing of friendship between Jake Jardine and Tony Calvelli becomes fraught when Jake’s parents – played by Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Ehle – raise the rent on the clothing shop run by Tony’s mother Leonor, played by Silver Bear-winning actress Paulina Garcia.
Although the film carefully charts the effect the boys have on each other and their development together and apart, Little Men is also about territory. Shots of Manhattan at a distance remind us that the Jardines have left their home ground but retained their uptown sense of entitlement. Ira Sachs’ story about the intensity of teen friendship is also a quietly perceptive look at gentrification in US cities.
Professor Maria Delgado is Director of Research at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London.