Buzz around Sean Price Williams’ feature-directing debut The Sweet East has been high since its debut at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight. Working from a script by critic Nick Pinkerton, the aesthetic-defining DP’s road trip finds Talia Ryder meeting a rogue’s gallery––Jacob Elordi, Simon Rex, Ayo Edebri, Jeremy O. Harris, and Andy Milonakis among them––and word’s consistently pegged it as one of 2023’s funniest. With Utopia releasing The Sweet East on December 1, there’s a trailer.
Rory O’Connor was taken with the film at Cannes, saying “Working from a script co-written with the influential critic Nick Pinkerton, Sean Price Williams’ punky directorial debut boasts both the cinematographer’s signature aesthetic (grainy, shaky, full of lovely pastels and close-ups) and Pinkerton’s idiosyncratic, roguish worldview. Premiering this week in Directors’ Fortnight, The Sweet East––seemingly taking cues from John Waters––is cinema at its most playfully facetious, infectiously puerile, and flagrantly transgressive, and an early highlight of a Cannes Film Festival that, near its midway point, has been somewhat short on provocation.”
Find the preview below:
THE SWEET EAST is a picaresque journey through the cities and woods of the Eastern seaboard of the United States. Lillian, a high school senior from South Carolina, gets her first glimpse of the wider world on a class trip to Washington, D.C. Separated from her schoolmates, she embarks on a fractured road trip in search of America. Along the way, she falls in with a variety of strange factions, each living out their own alternative realities in our present day.