It’s now been over a month since I saw Jane Schoenbrun’s I Saw the TV Glow and I haven’t been able to shake the experience from my mind. The staggering, genre-fluid tale of a boy-turned-adult looking for something to fill the void of emptiness in his life––and perhaps never finding it––was far and away the best film of Sundance. After a stop at Berlinale and forthcoming SXSW premiere, A24 will release it this summer. They’ve now debuted the first trailer ahead of the May 3 release.

I said in my Sundance review, “Tender yet rageful, quiet yet deafening, intimate yet expansive, Jane Schoenbrun’s I Saw the TV Glow is a towering achievement of total artistic freedom, the kind of work where certain images will be eternally burned into your mind and the feelings it exudes will linger far after the credits roll. Expanding the aura of loneliness from We’re All Going to the World’s Fair into a vastly more ambitious, layered canvas, Schoenbrun’s third feature tells the story of Owen, played early on by Ian Foreman and later by Justice Smith in a revelatory performance. Following the isolated journey of questioning his identity through childhood and adulthood, we witness his special infatuation with a late-night TV show and the ineradicable bond it creates with another lonely soul, Maddy (Brigette Lundy-Paine). The deeply expressive, imaginative ways in which Schoenbrun is able to articulate one’s struggle with identity is nothing short of staggering. This may not be a horror film in the conventional sense––in fact, every directorial decision assertively refutes convention––but I Saw the TV Glow emphatically argues nothing is more terrifying than being trapped in a body you don’t desire and having no words to properly express the feeling.”

See the trailer below.

I Saw the TV Glow opens May 3.

No more articles