What do science fiction space odysseys, popcorn balls, mythical yeast, rebellious teenagers, plagiarism and Dr. Ronald Chevalier’s esteemed “anous workshop” have in common? They are all a part of the quirky new universe of Gentlemen Broncos, the latest comedy from director Jared Hess, the mind behind Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre. A salute to oddball adolescent artistes everywhere, Gentlemen Broncos weaves together a series of narratives revolving around Benjamin Purvis (Michael Angarano), a loveable underdog whose passion for writing science-fiction novels is turned upside down when his idol, the celebrated fantasy author Dr. Ronald Chevalier (Jemaine Clement), steals his story at a writers camp.
Benjamin, a 17-year-old science fiction prodigy, lives in a geodesic dome in Utah with his mother (Jennifer Coolidge), an aspiring nightgown designer working on a line she calls “Decent Beginnings.”
As a homeschooler, Benjamin doesn’t have much experience in the real world, but his imagination takes him to fantastical worlds far from the drab small town in which he lives. When he finds out that his idol, sci-fi legend Dr. Ronald Chevalier will be teaching at Cletus Festival (“the best writers camp in Utah”), it’s the chance of a lifetime for the young author. He packs up his best manuscript, Yeast Lords: The Bronco Years, and sets out to fulfill his destiny. There he meets some new, equally misfit friends—budding romance novelist Tabatha (Halley Feiffer) and adolescent auteur Lonnie (Hector Jimenez), a filmmaker with more than 80 “films” to his credit.
Benjamin’s attendance at the festival has two stunning results. His novel is optioned by Lonnie to be made into a full-length, lower-than-low budget motion picture, and Chevalier himself is so impressed by Benjamin’s work that, in a desperate ploy to save his own career, he decides to make a few minor changes in the manuscript and publish it as his own novel, The Chronicles of Brutus and Balzaak.
As Benjamin’s world catapults into a series of dizzying and bizarre wrong turns, the story of Yeast Lords is seen in three different points of view: Benjamin’s original story, Chevalier’s bastardized version, and Lonnie’s low-fi film adaption. These three renditions are a celebration of the ridiculous world of cult science fiction films. Sam Rockwell turns in a pair of hilarious performances as Bronco/Brutus, who alongside his childhood best friend, Vanaya/Venonka (Suzanne May), heroically take on the evil overlords of the yeast factory in a desperate effort to save civilization.
Atlanta residents, do you want to see Gentleman Broncos
before everyone else? Get an envelope, put a stamp on it. Put your
address on the envelope as the recipient. Fold it. Put it in another
envelope and mail that envelope to CHUD at:
4915 Camberbridge Dr.
Alpharetta, GA 30022
Do it soon, we’ll stuff the SASE with passes and put them back in the mail to you. And then you’ll be one of the lucky ones.
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