Slow Machine

Slow Machine

Paul Felten, Joe DeNardo / 2020 / 72 minutes / USA

Stephanie, a restless and vibrant actress, meets Gerard, an NYPD counter-terrorism specialist who’s an aficionado of experimental theater (and maybe out of his mind). Flirtation ensues, ends disastrously, and forces Stephanie to the ramshackle upstate home of musician Eleanor Friedberger, yet this supposed escape is infected by violent memories of her past life. Directed by Paul Felten and Joe DeNardo, and starring Stephanie Hayes, Chloë Sevigny, Scott Shepherd and Eleanor Friedberger, Slow Machine is a miniature epic of paranoia, espionage, subterfuge, music, and performance captured on lush and invigorating 16mm.


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  • “Critic’s Pick! A mysterious New York thriller. One of this year’s most mesmerizing movies. Films of such lo-fi aesthetics rarely feel this major.”

    — Kristen Yoonsoo Kim, The New York Times
  • “Essential. Brilliant. It’s rare that a new American film feels genuinely alive with possibility from beginning to end. A beautiful reminder of what it’s like to be properly throttled by an unexpected cinematic jolt.”

    — Glen Heath Jr., The Film Stage
  • “Grade: A-. A paranoid thriller with a distinct lo-fi vibe. Compulsively watchable.”

    — Vikram Murthi, AV Club
  • “Entrancing. A world of thrumming, conspiratorial menace. Stephanie Hayes is bewitching.”

    — Beatrice Loayza, Reverse Shot
  • “Seductively disorienting. Wild and mesmerizing. Kind of like a lo-fi, Brooklyn variant of Inland Empire.”

    — Giovanni Marchini Camia, Filmmaker Magazine
  • "A tour de force."

    — Tony Pipolo, Artforum
  • “A mix of black humor and conspiratorial menace… inspired by Jacques Rivette and John le Carré.”

    Brooklyn Rail
  • "Unfurls as a matryoshka doll... To be watching Slow Machine is to be ushered into a bewitching, shapeshifting realm."

    Senses of Cinema
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