Film News

The Dunning Man is Now Available to Stream

The critically acclaimed film is now available on Amazon, iTunes, and Fandango.

Based on the critically acclaimed short story of the same name, The Dunning Man follows the life of Connor Ryan, an Atlantic City landlord who's forced to rent his dingy apartments to a less-than-savory crowd. A relatively straightforward story about financial bad luck immediately gives way to mania and mayhem, as Ryan finds his tenants engaged in a bestial orgy and is nearly killed by Chechen soldiers. If it sounds bizarre, that's because it is.

These absurd moments are, however, balanced with the mundane, as Ryan is forced to shelter his tenant and love interest, Alice, and her young daughter from her neighbors as well as her alcoholic boyfriend. In a film with so many different moving parts, it would be easy for the plot to get muddled, but director Michael Clayton breathes life into Kevin Fortuna's story in a way that feels seamless. The question of why never really enters the viewer's mind. Reality is presented. Acceptance of it isn't a choice but a compulsion. In this world, the weird becomes normal; the normal, tense.

Still, The Dunning Man never feels avant garde or inaccessible. Ryan's bravado is a thin veneer hiding deep wounds. Alice's abusive relationship feels uncomfortably real. At the end of the day, the film, though shocking when necessary, is a simple story of a man trying to pick himself up and the quiet desperation we all face in daily life. The futility of fixing an AC unit. Uncomfortable social interactions. Stepping in dog shit. Even though the world Fortuna's created is tilted on its axis, the viewer could easily see themselves walking in Ryan's shoes.

The Dunning Man is now available on Amazon, iTunes, and Fandango.

The Dunning Man - Cinequest 2017 Trailer

Watch The Dunning Man Fandango | Amazon | iTunes

Praise for Fortuna's Latest Literary Venture

Matt Clibanoff is a writer and editor based in New York City who covers music, politics, sports and pop culture. He currently serves as Lead Editor for Gramercy Media. His editorial work can be found in Inked Magazine, Pop Dust, The Liberty Project, and All Things Go. His fiction has been published in Forth Magazine. Find Matt at his website and on Twitter: @mattclibanoff

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Watch yourself: "The Dunning Man" hits hard

Kevin Fortuna's The Dunning Man will soon grace the silver screen!

Some people say that reading about other people's problems makes us feel better. But that's only one of the reasons we turn to literature—to catch a glimpse into the lives that deserve the best stories. We can be that fly on the wall, spying on scenes that we, fortunately, don't have to deal with beyond the book's spine. Short stories are perfect vehicles for this sensation. If done right, they skip to the hard-hitting stuff without leaving out the vitals. I've gone back to short story collections time and time again for their brevity and punch, but one collection continues to be among my favorites: Kevin Fortuna's The Dunning Man.

And considering all that you get in this slim book, I'd say it's a pretty great find. The book is a collection of stories that feel like modern tall tales, narrating the lives of Irish-American societal rejects that, in my opinion, are also legends of attitude.

Esquire called The Dunning Man a "funny, explosive, and disarmingly moving" story about "people like you and me." And that's exactly what it is. Plus, you can read it in a single afternoon.

In the first story, "Dead," we meet Connor, who's on his way from New York City to Atlantic City to meet his "Girlbomb" Ursula for dinner. But the characters that make it nearly impossible for him to get there are both hilarious and pathetic. "Poor Jimmy" echoes that same uncomfortable but effective teetering between dignity and destruction, as a couple of old friends attempt to chase girls and their past is brought into the light. But these stories are just warm-ups to the title story, "The Dunning Man," which will soon release as a feature-length film.

In his story "The Dunning Man," Fortuna demonstrates his mastery of character and voice. Within the short space of the story, the whole world, even beyond Atlantic City, goes from just okay to nearly irreparable. Connor is back, and with seemingly nothing left to lose, he's trying his luck in the unforgiving world of Atlantic City real estate. But more than a few curveballs (or punches) are thrown his way.

In Michael Clayton's upcoming film, The Dunning Man, Connor plays landlord to three malfunctioning apartment units, which house Alice, the young mother dealing with a busted AC and incessant "love sounds" from above; Styker Jones, the ostentatious rap star and origin of the ruckus; and Erika Deitz-Hoffman and her band of "animal people." Enough said.

As you can imagine, this colorful group causes nothing but trouble for poor Connor, who's just trying to get the rent he's owed. But powerful connections brew between Connor and his tenants that make you think, if only for a moment, that he might just wake up from this nightmare unscathed.

The film captures Fortuna's fast-paced plot, while enhancing it with delightful montages of Irish-American history, authentic Irish tunes, and acting that brings his already vibrant characters to even more life.

So it was fitting that the story collection was published by indie New Orleans publisher Lavender Ink. Anything bigger might have threatened the level of intimacy that I so love about the book. And likewise, the film was picked up by USA Today Best Film Festival, Cinequest, a vanguard Silicon Valley organization on the edge of creative innovation. Cinequest aims to find and share films that have a direct impact on youth and artists. It's a more than suitable home for such a gem of narrative.

The Dunning Man opens March 4th. Click here for information on screenings!

Update: The Dunning Man Was Just Featured In The Nook Daily Find! Follow This Link To Get The E-Book For Just $.99 (Today Only)!