At the Nickelodeon: An Interview with Tyler Taormina, Director of "Ham on Rye"

At the Nickelodeon: An Interview with Tyler Taormina, Director of
Tyler Taormina's Ham on Rye is showing exclusively on Mubi starting January 11, 2021 in the Debuts series.Ham on Rye, the feature film debut of Long Island-native, Los Angeles-beached Tyler Taormina, is one of the strangest and most discomfiting “coming-of-age” films of recent memory. I put “coming-of-age” in quotes because, yes, ostensibly it follows children between the ages of 15 and 18 becoming Something Else, Something Bigger. But both Taormina and his film are notoriously reticent about what this Something Else entails. Ham on Rye doesn’t play any of the familiar beats of similar funny films in the John Hughes/Eighth Grade (2018) ilk. There’s no single teenager we’re asked to keep close track of. Taormina is not nailing the truth of endless grade-school dances, parties, and games of gossipy Telephone so much as swirling surrealistically around them, those unexplained rejections and evasive moves that are romanticized as part of the process of growing up,
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