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The D.C. Independent Film Festival opens today and runs through Sunday. Over the next few days, Arts Desk will review a number of the films on the slate.
Highly unlikeable characters tend to result in highly unlikeable films—-at least when that character is in almost every scene, as is Homer (Johnny Walter), an unsuccessful novelist, in writer-director Kelvin Z. Phillips’ torturous drama A Swingin’ Trio. When we meet Homer, he’s preparing a Valentine’s Day dinner for his workaholic producer wife, Trude (Timeca M. Seretti). But Homer has plans beyond igniting a typical evening of romance: The table is set for three, with a former stripper named Bryce (LeMarc Johnson) invited to join them. When Bryce arrives, Trude recognizes him from the club and Homer immediately turns into an asshole, insisting—-all. night. long.—-that the two have already slept together. A Swingin’ Trio plods on like a bad Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, with the characters getting drunker and more hostile—-particularly Homer, who on top of his dickery has an inconsistent accent that’s Cajun by the way Foghorn Leghorn. That Bryce stays through the absurdity is rather unbelievable. Spare yourself the same pain.
A Swingin’ Trio shows Thursday at 9:30 p.m. at the U.S. Navy Heritage Center. $10.