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19–30 JUNE 2019
  • Director

    Riley Stearns

  • Starring

    Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Poots

  • Run Time

    105 mins

  • Release Year


  • Country of Origin


  • Language


  • Director of Photography: Michael Ragen

  • Editor: Sarah Beth Shapiro

  • Produced by: Andrew Kortschak, Walter Kortschak, Cody Ryder, Stephanie Whonsetler

  • Music: Heather McIntosh

  • Screenplay by: Riley Stearns

  • Production Designer: Charlotte Royer


The Art of Self-Defense

Part of the American Dreams Strand


The Art of Self-Defense is funny, weird, absurd and insightful, and while it spends time mulling over masculinity (rather like a funnier Fight Club), its sheer sense of ridiculousness punctures any macho leanings. Jesse Eisenberg is perfect as Casey, a nervous accountant who turns to karate and the teachings of the enigmatic Sensei (Alessandro Nivola) after being beaten up by a biker gang. Imogen Poots as Anna, the dojo’s sole woman teacher, is a great foil for Casey’s new confidence. This film has cult classic written all over it – funny, deftly bizarre and oddly sweet. [15]

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