First Teaser Trailer for 'The Art of Self-Defense' Film Playing at SXSW

March 8, 2019
Source: YouTube

The Art of Self-Defense Trailer

"Why karate?" "I'm afraid… I'm afraid of the dark. I'm afraid of other men. They intimidate me." Bleecker Street Films has debuted the first teaser trailer for an indie dark comedy titled The Art of Self-Defense, which is premiering at the SXSW Film Festival starting this weekend. This film is the latest from director Riley Stearns (of the film Faults previously) and it's already set for a theatrical release in June this year, for those who aren't able to catch it at SXSW in Austin. Jesse Eisenberg stars as Casey, a fragile man who enlists in a local dojo after being attacked at random on the street. What he uncovers is a sinister world of fraternity, violence and hypermasculinity, and a woman fighting for her place in it. The small cast includes Alessandro Nivola as the Sensei, plus Imogen Poots, Steve Terada, and Phillip Andre Botello. This is a great teaser, setting up the story and giving us just a taste of what this is all about. Can't wait to watch it.

Here's the first teaser trailer for Riley Stearns' The Art of Self-Defense, direct from Bleecker's YouTube:

The Art of Self-Defense

A dark comedy set in the world of karate. The film centers on Casey (Jesse Eisenberg), who is attacked at random on the street and enlists in a local dojo led by a charismatic and mysterious Sensei (Alessandro Nivola), in an effort to learn how to defend himself. What he uncovers is a sinister world of fraternity, violence and hypermasculinity and a woman (Imogen Poots) fighting for her place in it. Casey undertakes a journey, both frightening and darkly funny, that will place him squarely in the sights of his enigmatic new mentor. The Art of Self Defense is both written and directed by American filmmaker Riley Stearns, his second feature after making Faults previously, as well as a few other short films. This is premiering at the SXSW Film Festival this month, and likely a few other festivals. Bleecker Street will release Stearns' The Art of Self-Defense in select theaters starting June 21st, 2019 in the summer. First impression? Who's in?

Find more posts: Indies, To Watch, Trailer



I don't know. I didn't get much from this trailer. I really like Jesse Eisenberg as he can make me laugh where most fail. He's also very good in serious roles like The Social Network which I also liked a lot. I don't know about this, but because of Eisenberg I might give it a whirl.

thespiritbo on Mar 8, 2019


Characters like that can develop in something interesting or to become a dead end in the story. Obviously, I hope for the first one...

shiboleth on Mar 9, 2019


It is in your mind, then your fists.

DAVIDPD on Mar 9, 2019


The simplicity in it's awkwardness has me digging it. I'm down.

THE_RAW_ on Mar 14, 2019

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