THERAPY DOGSDirected by Ethan Eng
Official Selection, 2022 Slamdance Film Festival
Don’t bring your parents. Don’t bring your kids. THERAPY DOGS is a high school film that’s wrong in all the right ways. Shot under the pretext of a “yearbook” video with nary an adult in sight, filmmaker Ethan Eng and buddy Justin Morrice secretly document synapse-frying snapshots during their last year at a suburban high school in Canada. A giddy retort to graduation platitudes like “Live life to the fullest!” and “Embrace challenge!,” THERAPY DOGS showers us in the confetti of a million challenge-embracing, endorphin-fueled, glorious, and self-destructive snippets of two young people with no impulse control, determined to show it all.
Promposals at stripclubs. Eyerolls at adults in marketing. Getting strapped to the roof of a wildly spinning car. Inebriated haircuts. Inebriated fight clubs. Inebriated friend breakups. Thrilling and gutwrenching, emo and hilarious, ironic and sincere, epic and ordinary, THERAPY DOGS’ scope is also its ambition: to fully chronicle high school’s inanities, insanities, and the subliminal terror of losing all of the above.
But THERAPY DOGS is more than a giant middle finger. Along with cleverly questioning documentary as observer and instigator, at the center of it all is a buddy film with two young friends who are companion animals and coping mechanisms. They burst with an affectionate synergy we are rooting for… if they can survive their own film. The youngest filmmaker to play Slamdance, now embraced by the Russo Brothers, Eng gleefully moshes in the pit with fellow lanemakers Harmony Korine and Jon Moritsugu. Brimming with the irrational genius of the most viral memes, THERAPY DOGS upcycles the hormone-drenched chaos of high school into a brand new cinematic joyride.
Directed by Candace Ho
In this offbeat, animated documentary, Candace Ho reflects, reclaims, and reckons with growing up with the last name Ho.