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Towelhead


In the past ten years, screenwriter Alan Ball has given us two of the most scathing examinations of the frailty of human nature in general, and American life in particular.

Ball’s screenwriting debut, American Beauty was nothing short of a cultural phenomenon when it was released, and though the film doesn’t quite hold up under close scrutiny, its strongest moments likely remain etched in the minds of viewers. His HBO series Six Feet Under benefited from having five years rather than two hours to examine human nature in all its contradictory glory, and its insights into what makes people tick tended toward subtle incrimination and unbearable heartbreak. In Towelhead, his film directing debut, Ball once again tries to walk the razor’s edge of placing flawed but sympathetic characters in shocking but realistic circumstances.

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