Intrigued by this NY Times review, I went to see Frownland last night at IFC Center, and let me say the film certainly lives up to its title. It is filled with a sense of doom and loneliness that many (well, some) filmmakers strive for, yet rarely achieve. Audiences will likely feel uncomfortable during parts of the movie, but at the same time they will maintain emotional connections with the characters.
To the great credit of the cast and crew, Frownland maintains this delicate balance of uneasiness and empathy through consistent film style. The grainy 16mm cinematography, the acting, the writing/editing/directing of Ron
Bronstein and the music of Paul Grimstad are all crucial to its success.