Dan Rosen Poster


Dan Rosen wrote, co-produced, and appeared (as Deputy Hartford) in The Last Supper (1996), a black comedy whose pointed critique of faux-liberalism is not pursued with sufficient vigor. His directorial debut, The Curve (1998) aka Dead Man's Curve, was shot in his native Maryland, and was far more effective in pursuing its dark vision of the human ability to justify outrageous, even murderous, nastiness. Having learned of their college's policy of giving straight "A" grades to students whose roommates commit suicide, a couple of students set about murdering a friend so they can get the grades they need to get into Harvard, but all is not as it seems. Superior to the similarly themed Dead Man on Campus (1998) it became the subject of a bidding war at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival but this subsequently led to distribution problems. Although the low budget of $750,000 and tight shooting schedule of just twenty two shooting days are occasionally evident in the contrast between several stylishly shot sequences and the efficient, rather less slick, camera work which dominates, this is compensated for by some sharp dialogue, witty inter-cutting, and associative editing, and some gleefully hammy compositions. A tale of teen cruelty, it is full of mean laughs, spot on pop references, and Matthew Lillard's trademark mugging. Minor characters are entertainingly fleshed out - particularly the college counselor who is struggling to quit smoking - and some gentle satirical swipes are essayed at immigration policies, victim culture, big business, and the nature of qualifications and employability.