Incredibly Small

A guy, a girl, a 300 square foot apartment – let the fight begin.
Country: USA Runtime: 83 Director(s): Dean Peterson
Cast: Alex Karpovsky, Stephen Gurewitz, Susan Burke

Anne and Amir are an unlikely pair. Amir is an escalator attendant by day and aspiring sculptor by night. Even though he has never sculpted anything before, he hopes to one day fulfill his lifelong dream of making a marble bust of Charles Barkley. Anne comes from a well-to-do family and just started law school where she spends most of her days studying. Against the odds they decide to move into a shabby 300 square foot apartment and try to start a life together.

But things don’t exactly go as planned. The combination of their small apartment, their threateningly charming neighbor next door and unexpected visitors from the past make them realize that maybe they aren’t as perfect for each other as they previously had thought.

FILM FESTIVALS: Raindance Film Festival 2010, Cork International Film Festival,


Dean Peterson’s Minneapolis set feature debut describes itself as a 300 square foot love story; the setting may be incredibly small but it packs an incredibly big punch. When Emir and Anne move into their new apartment their fledging relationship immediately comes under strain. Anne is far from impressed with the studio flat’s ‘rustic charm’ (which seems to be another word for rising damp) and things only get worse when her parents arrive and conclude that their daughter has moved in with an imbecile. But if Emir is an eternal man-child then Anne is overbearing and idealistic, and the audience’s sympathy is skilfully bounced back and forth thanks to Peterson’s incredibly sharp script, which draws the utmost amount of pathos and humour from every tight-as-a-drum exchange.

The cracks in the young couple’s relationship are fully prised open when their neighbour Tom, a Seinfield-esque college professor with wonderful hair, takes a shine to Anne and throws all of Emir’s faults into stark relief, even more so when his old friend Brian turns up on his doorstep with stories of how much dope ‘Eagle’ used to smoke in high school. The idea of a relationship being tested within claustrophobic confines initially brings to mind Richard Linklater’s DV film Tape, but Incredibly Small is far more modest in its ambitions; a clever chamber piece more in keeping with the emotional subtleties of Before Sunset. Performances are spot on throughout and even the apartment itself, which they never finish painting, seems to possess a strong character.