Since releasing Rabbit Hole in 2010, Hedwig and the Angry Inch brainchild John Cameron Mitchell has been quiet on the cinematic front; given his focus on the acclaimed Broadway production of Hedwig, it’s wholly understandable. But the filmmaker who brought eternally underappreciated gems like Shortbus to the screen couldn’t (and shouldn’t) go away for ever, and on the heels of its passionate Cannes premiere earlier this year, his fourth feature How to Talk to Girls at Parties is finally on the way.
An adaptation of a Neil Gaiman short story, Parties returns to Britain circa 1977, at the dawn of punk, to follow young Enn (Alex Sharp and Rory Nolan at different ages) through the scene as he struggles with the typical coming of age pitfalls: political outrage, social alienation, and the trials of falling for Zan (Elle Fanning), an attractive young alien sent to Earth to investigate its many curiosities. Soon both have to struggle with their repressive upbringings, Enn with a divided nation and Zan with the pressures of loyalty to her true species, as they learn the hard way that nothing comes easy when you’re getting older.
The first trailer for Mitchell’s film displays all the hallmarks of a great coming-of-age story, from punk rock to first loves to strife against an intergalactic race. How to Talk to Girls at Parties doesn’t yet have an unofficial release date, but A24 will see it into theaters sometime TBD in 2018.