The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Black Bear

Explore the dark side of the creative process with Black Bear, a surprising new thriller from Wild Canaries director Lawrence Michael Levine.

Stuck at a creative impasse, a young filmmaker (Aubrey Plaza) joins a couple at their rural lake house in hope of reviving her artistic energies. It becomes clear, however, that all is not well with the couple, with the man openly expressing interest in their guest as his relationship with his pregnant partner sours. As the three descend into petty bickering and plotting against each other, it has the side effect of providing the filmmaker with the inspiration she so desperately needs.

With critics praising Plaza’s performance in particular, Black Bear is a darkly comedic story about jealousy, creativity, and how the two occasionally intertwine.


“Levine’s playful deconstruction of tortured genius is a witty and provocative send-up of tyrannical directors, diva-ish actors and over-invested voyeurs alike.” — Simran Hans, Observer (UK)

“Tricksy, surreal cringe comedy, a film that falls somewhere between Fawlty Towers and Mulholland Drive. — Tara Brady, Irish Times

“Bears may not defecate in these woods, but s*** hits the fan with style.” — Charlotte O’Sullivan, London Evening Standard