Cinequest, 2008—K.K. Downey Is an Upper’s reviewers keep working their DVD players overtime previewing Cinequest films (read full coverage of festival). Richard von Busack found this gem and recommends it to both film and book fans:

*Who Is K.K. Downey?

(U.S.) “He said, ‘Hey, kid. Do you want to snort some China?’ I liked the way it sounded, like I could fit an entire country up my nose. It was my eighth birthday.” The excerpt is from a book called Truck Stop Hustler by K.K. Downey. In this brilliant, scuffling comedy, “Downey” bears a haunting likeness to defrocked literary lot–lizard JT LeRoy, author of a book titled The Publicist Is Deceitful Above All Things, or something similar to that. Terrance (co-writer and director Darren Curtis) is a whiner, a stalker and a punching bag for even bigger post-punk blowhards in Montreal’s cramped music scene. His band Black Guts has just imploded. He’s separated from the love of his life, the performance artist Sue (Kristin Adams), who is treacherously taken up by Connor Rooney (co-director/writer Pat Kiely), vicious critic-at-large from Gaze magazine. (The swine is seen literally whacking off over a picture of Voltaire.) In such a scene, Terence’s best pal forever, Theo (Matt Silver), can’t hope to get his novel Truck Stop Hustler published. To fool the public into thinking they’re getting the real thing, Terence is talked into posing with fright wig, fedora and shades as the author of a hard-hitting, no-hold-barred, all-expenses-paid journey through the underaged truck-stop sex trade. (“I licked places nobody should have to lick!”) The only one unconvinced by the charade is Rooney, who is determined to undo “this no-talent she-man.” All of this would make for an amusing sketch if it weren’t for a fine third-act surprise and the superior comic timing of the leads. Silver’s Theo, for instance, makes a fine pop-fly-size arc from bleating alterna-schlub to a figure of Tony Hendra–esque malice. Curtis could be the Buscemi for a new century, and Adam’s cozy Drew Barrymore silliness is endearing. By far the funniest film I’ve seen at this year’s Cinequest. (RvB)
March 6 at 7pm, March 8 at 7:15pm and March 9 at 3pm, all at Camera 12.

23 comments to Cinequest, 2008—K.K. Downey Is an Upper

  • Richard von Busack

    And it happens, again! Publishers must be gullible, gullible people….

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