NoBudge has partnered with Indiewire -- the premiere site for indie film news & coverage -- to present a monthly selection of our films. Check out this month's pick, The Going Away Party, and stay in touch with Indiewire for daily indie film coverage.
A comic tale of depression and self-indulgence in New York City. A young man named Connor struggles though his life before deeming suicide the only way out. He plans a going away party to commemorate the end, but no one takes him seriously.
Connor, played by writer/director Connor Hurley, is diagnosed with depression and can’t deal. His support system is preoccupied with other agendas — his grandmother (Peggy Hurley) thinks he’s autistic because she took an online test. And his best friend (Alena Chinault) feeds him unidentified drugs so he’ll start being fun at a party, only it backfires when he vomits on everybody and blacks out.
Edited with great comic timing, The Going Away Party mines depression for laughs in a way that millennials often do — with detachment. It works because it doesn’t take itself seriously. It never pivots in search of drama points. The film is not about the real world, it’s about our subconscious fears. Less an examination of mental disorder, more like a bad dream where no one cares if you die.
Well-executed, fast-paced, and darkly humorous, the film covers a lot of ground in nine kinetic minutes. Hurley is a talented young filmmaker with range. His previous short, The Naturalist, was an incisive sci-fi drama about a gay couple banished from a "genetically perfect" future. With his new film, he establishes himself as a natural screen presence as well, alongside writing, producing, editing and directing. Toss him on your filmmakers to watch list. He’s on mine.
Written, Produced and Directed by Connor Hurley. Produced by Sarah Brennan Kolb & Nell Malatesta. Director of Photography Peter Steusloff. Editing & Titles by Connor Hurley. Featuring Alena Chinault, Peggy Hurley, Neil Hurley.