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88 min.
Year of Production:
Daniel Schlachet
Craig Chester
Ron (Crowe Ron) Vawter
Michael Kirby
Michael Stumm
Valda Z. Drabla
Natalie Stanford
Paul Connor
Robert Read
Richard Elovich
Isabela Araujo
Jill 'Spanky' Buchanan
Nashom Benjamin
Nashom Wooden
Ryan Landry
Chris (Christopher) Hoover
Brent Charleton
Production Company:
Intolerance Productions
Berlinale Section:
Berlinale Category:
Feature Film
Teddy Award:
Audience Award

Tom Kalin’s visually stunning, black and white feature film debut SWOON tells the well-known story of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, two wealthy Jewish college students who kidnapped and brutally murdered a 14-year neighbourhood boy in Chicago in 1924. Convinced of their intellectual superiority, Leopold and Loeb had set out to commit a “perfect crime,” but ended up instead arrested, tried, and sentenced to life in prison. Although this famous case inspired two earlier films, Alfred Hitchcock’s ROPE (1948) and Richard Fleischer’s COMPULSION (1959), it was SWOON that first brought to the screen a complex investigation of the discourses that not only informed the pathological act, but also constructed the murderous couple as pathological. Kalin’s film makes explicit both the homosexuality of its protagonists and the homophobia (and anti-semitism) of then contemporary criminal psychology. This stylish and politically provocative film remains – 20 years later – one of the best examples of the “New Queer Cinema” and of US independent filmmaking in the ’90s.

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Tom Kalin was born in 1962 in Chicago. He earned a B.F.A. from the University of Illinois and an M.F.A. from the Art Institute of Chicago, and studied in the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. He has written for publications such as Art Forum, Aperture, and The Village Voice, and has taught at California Institute of the Arts, Brown University, and Yale University. He is currently Assistant Professor in Columbia University's Graduate Film Division. Kalin has received the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, as well as grants and awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Paul Robeson Fund, New York State Council for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Swoon (1992) received the Best Cinematography award at the Sundance Film Festival and the Open Palm Award (recognizing outstanding first features) from the Independent Feature Project, among other awards. Kalin's work has been screened at the The Getty Research Institute and American Film Institute, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Metrograph Cinema, New York; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; and at festivals in Hong Kong, Berlin, Amsterdam, New York, and Barcelona, among others. He lives in New York.

FILMOGRAFIE Tom Kalin (selection)

2007 Savage Grace  2003 The Robots of Sodom   1993 Nomads   1991 Swoon  1989 They Are Lost To Vision Altogether 

Tom Kalin@IMDb

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