Standing by Yourself | Chicago Reader

Standing by Yourself

A searing portrait of alienated adolescence, this 2001 video documentary by Josh Koury began as a senior thesis project for Brooklyn's Pratt Institute, focusing on his younger brother, Adam, and Adam's buddy, Josh. The sometimes wild movement of the handheld camera expresses the boys' restless energy as they bounce around the small town of Clinton, New York, and the black screen separating the scenes evokes their disjointed lives: Josh, who's been expelled from school for threatening to murder a girl, begs his mother for a few bucks, while she gripes that he hasn't cleaned his room; the two friends ingest painkillers and cough medicine; Josh, returning home from a short jail sentence, throws up out the rear door of an auto. By the end the friends' paths have started to diverge—Adam has found a new pal, and Josh descends into a drug-induced stupor, chillingly alone. 57 min.


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