As mysteriously as as this news had avoided me, it suddenly came to my attention: a film based on the celebrated indie comic Generous Bosom, by Conor Stechschulte, has been made, with a script by Stechschulte. It’s directed by first-time helmer Rob Schoeder, and it’s debuting at the Tribeca Film Festival — details here. The cast includes Vincent Kartheiser, Chelsea Lopez, Breeda Wool, Tunde Adebimpe, Rainey Qualley, Chris Gartin and Bob Stephenson.
If you’re familiar with the source material, you must be like…wow.
To quote the festival listing:
Driving home late at night during a heavy rainstorm, Glen experiences car trouble. Near where his car gets stuck, he spots a house, knocks on the door and is greeted by an oddly friendly middle-aged man, Arthur, and his younger wife, Cyndi. The strange couple pours him a drink, and then more drinks, followed by an unexpected offer that Glen can’t refuse. Elsewhere, a young woman, Katie, is feeling emotionally weighed down by a secret romantic arrangement that feels like a textbook case of gaslighting. And at the same time, in a nondescript research facility, medical professional Shannon begins questioning her role in a bizarre experiment, fearing that she’s doing more harm than good.
This is gonna be weird.
So back up a little: Stechschulte first came to my attention with The Amateurs, published by Fantagraphics, a grisly exploration of memory about the discovery of a severed head. I loved it. I was soon even more astounded by the first volume of Generous Bosom, published by Breakdown Press, which was mostly the story of the car breakdown and the encounter between Glen and the strange couple. This book contains one of the longest, most detailed and excruciating sex scenes ever put in a comic; it’s become a legend to anyone who’s read it. No idea how the film will cover THAT! Although this clip gives a hint!
The second and third volumes deepen the seemingly unconnected mysteries, and in all honesty, I read them all so far apart that the story is a little hazy in my mind but that’s probably the intended effect. It’s all told with comics that use color, pacing, the page itself in inventive and amazing ways. It’s a masterful achievement. But don’t take my word for it. Also, The Beat named it one of the Top 100 Comics of the Decade.
As good as it is, Generous Bosom is something of a cult comic among indie comics aficionados, so to find out that it’s been made into an indie film is pretty astonishing. And kudos to Stechschulte for getting to write his own screenplay.
Generous Bosom Volume 1 seems to be OOP, but you can buy Vol. 2 and 3 and a scaled down reprint of #1 at Conor’s site.
Some more images — this is one weird, wonderful comic and I’m definitely going to check out the movie.