First Trailer for “I Saw The TV Glow” Reveals Sundance’s Most Arresting Movie

The first trailer for Jane Schoenbrun’s I Saw the TV Glow reveals the Sundance hit that defied easy categorization and yet mesmerized critics.

Schoenbrunn’s film follows two teenagers caught in that nightmarish unreality known colloquially as the suburbs. It’s the 1990s, and Owen (Justice Smith) is the type of kid who feels world-weary already, alienated by his shyness and sense that he’s not entirely himself. 

Yet Owen’s life changes when he meets a cool older girl named Maddy (Bridgett Lundy-Paine), who introduces him to the TV show The Pink Opaque, a sci-fi show that airs late on Saturday nights and is centered on two teen girls with a cosmic connection and a duty to fight against evils. Although these two girls live on the other side of the country, they’re able to sense each other through the glowing pink tattoos on the backs of their necks. There’s confident Tara (Lindsay Jordan) and shy Isabel (Helena Howard), and together, their power is formidable. Owen’s hooked.

Owen and Maddy’s friendship mirrors that of Tara and Isabel, with Maddy trying to get Owen to come out of his shell and embrace his true self. Through The Pink Opaque and Maddy’s friendship, Owen has found at least a small foothold on happiness, but trouble is brewing. Soon enough, the reality of Owen’s suburban life and the drama of The Pink Opaque begin to bleed together. What becomes apparent is that who Owen really wants to be is Isabel, the girl from the TV show he loves.

I Saw the TV Glow is the rare (and precious) sophomore feature that resoundingly expands on debut promise, that confirms its filmmaker as a mighty talent whose creative engine is churning into motion,” wrote Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson after its Sundance screening.  “A layered and authentic portrait of identity and dysphoria, wrapped in ’90s nostalgia and surreal imagery that embeds itself deep into your psyche,” wrote Bloody Disgusting’s Meagan Navarro.

Check out the trailer below. I Saw the TV Glow hits theaters on May 3.

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“To Kill a Tiger” Director Nisha Pahuja on her Eight-Year Journey to Make her Oscar-Nominated Doc

Featured image: L-r: Justice Smith and Brigette Lundy-Paine in “I Saw the TV Glow.” Courtesy A24.


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