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Fish Tank

Feeling suffocated at a house party, shy 15-year-old Rowan escapes into a secluded bedroom. He is inadvertently joined by Andrew, a fellow classmate whom Rowan secretly harbors feelings for. Over a shared soda can filled with pilfered vodka, the two young men drift through awkward and intimate conversation, unintentionally forming the connection that they both subconsciously yearn for.

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Director's Statement:

Coming of age in small town Ohio, I became well acquainted with what sociologist Emile Durkheim referred to as “the normal majority;” i.e. the presiding social environment. Christianity and heterosexuality were two identities crucial to the normal majority of my high school, and those who did not or could not fit into these norms found themselves socially isolated. During adolescence, the pressure to conform is heightened to an astronomical level, and my teenaged self longed for any kind of escape or relief. The closest thing to comfort I could find was in the occasional, often fleeting interactions with similarly isolated youth. In Fish Tank, I aspired to illustrate one such ephemeral connection between teenaged young men; a seemingly trivial meeting that proves to be so much more for the two main characters.

Rowan and Andrew find themselves alienated from the dominant societal group: their high school peers. Rowan is isolated because he cannot conform to the imposed heterosexual role, while Andrew is isolated because he desires a deeper meaning to life than that provided to him by his girlfriend, church, and soccer teammates. Their deviance from high school norms in turn pulls them toward each other. Without initially attempting to, Rowan and Andrew become antidotes to each other’s emptiness through an interaction that’s not strictly platonic, romantic, or sexual. It was my artistic objective to portray that stilted, halting intimacy that erupts between two young men when the triangulation of loneliness, inebriation, and the need for human connection is just right. Though the negative pull of society eventually takes its predictable toll, something quietly monumental takes place. Nothing has changed for these two boys, but neither of them will be the same.
coming-of-age

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 17 Dec 2013