Four clips from Tony Kaye’s new film Detachment


Detachment, the latest film from American History X and Lake of Fire director Tony Kaye, is due out next year. Its packed cast includes Adrien Brody, James Caan, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Lucy Liu, and Marcia Gay Harden. Detachment will be available through various video-on-demand services in February and will also receive a limited theatrical run in March. Here’s a synopsis for the film:

Henry Barthes (Brody) is an educator with a true talent to connect with his students. Yet Henry has chosen to bury his gift. By spending his days as a substitute teacher, he conveniently avoids any emotional connections by never staying anywhere long enough to form attachments. Through the course of the film, he discovers that he’s not alone in a life and death struggle to find beauty in a seemingly vicious and loveless world.

The clips here seem to suggest Brody’s character breaking down after his long and isolated drift through life. It’ll be interesting to see what Kaye does with this material and this cast. It’d be easy to get saccharine with this sort of stuff, but hopefully he keeps away from easy sentiments. The three other Detachment clips are after the cut.

I used to be very angry

How do you see me?

Stop neglecting his needs

While I’m interested in checking out Detachment, I still wonder what will ever become of Kaye’s Black Water Transit. The 2009 thriller starred Laurence Fishburne and Karl Urban and was movie shot in post-Katrina New Orleans. After completion, it got tied up in some messy litigation between producers and may never be released.

I’m also curious about Kaye’s director’s cut of American History X, which will probably never see light of day. The original version of the film was much longer, though it was eventually taken out of Kaye’s control by New Line and Edward Norton. Kaye supposedly did a documentary called Humpty Dumpty that chronicled this creative clash (he wanted to remove his name from the final cut of the film and replace it with “Alan Smithee” and “Humpty Dumpty”), but I haven’t heard anything about it in years.

Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.