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Social Hygiene

July 7, 2022

Social Hygiene

(dir. Denis Côté, 2021)

Los Angeles premiere!
Exclusive video "outro" by director Denis Côté to follow the screening!


7:30 PM


8:00 PM


2220 Arts + Archives
2220 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90057

Yanai Initiative logo_edited.jpg
Yanai Initiative logo_edited.jpg

Antonin  is a bit of a dandy. He has a way with words that could have made him a  famous writer, but instead mostly serves to get him out of trouble. Torn  between twin urges to be part of society and also to escape it, his  charm and wit are put to the test by five women who are about to lose  their patience with his live and let live attitude: his sister, his  wife, the woman he desires, a tax collector and a victim of his  mischief.

All of Denis Côté’s films are unique, but Social Hygiene—co-winner  of the Best Director prize in the Encounters section at the 2021  Berlinale—feels defiantly free, and bears testimony to the way in which  the constraints of a pandemic can be the mother of invention when it  comes to cinematic forms and storytelling. Côté’s use of language is  playful, unchained. And as he gradually homes in on his verbally  jousting protagonists, one ponders the sheer joy of being given such an  opportunity to explore the penetrating impact of diction and tonal  shifts. In fact, the charismatic actors are also clearly relishing this  socially hygienic reaffirming of a performing troupe’s creative energy.

Official Selection: Berlinale, NYFF, TIFF.

[An] excellent, amusing, and unexpected film.

- A.S. Hamrah, The Baffler

An odd, original take on the idea that men and women live on different planets.

- Lee Marshall, Screen International

An intellectually ticklish example of responding to filmmaking limitations with invention and droll wit.

- Jessica Kiang, Variety

In [its] verbosity, simplicity of staging, and plein-air settings, [Social Hygiene's]  tête-à-têtes suggest community theater, albeit with the snap and vigor  of actors in full command of the comic and tragic turns in Côté’s  material.

- Carson Lund, Slant Magazine

Social Hygiene is  a neo-Dadaist “film for film’s sake,” an experience to absorb or squint  at, but where more rational forms of understanding are happily  deflected. It’s a work of carefully-wrought artifice that reminds you  this is really what all films are.

- David Katz, The Film Stage

(Available to download after screening date)

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