Dance Party USA (film)

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Dance Party USA
Directed byAaron Katz
Produced byBrendan McFadden
Marc Ripper
Written byAaron Katz
StarringCole Pensinger
Anna Kavan
Ryan White
Natalie Buller
Sarah Bing
Brendan McFadden
Chad Hartigan
Music byKeegan DeWitt
Release date
  • March 12, 2006 (2006-03-12)
Running time
67 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$3,500 (estimated)

Dance Party USA is a 2006 film written and directed by Aaron Katz. It stars Cole Pensinger and Anna Kavan.[1] The film and director have also been mentioned by the media as an important part of the "mumblecore" movement in independent cinema.[2]


Apathetic 17-year-old Gus spends most of his time hanging around doing nothing with his buddy Bill. Gus likes to tell half-true stories about all the girls he has slept with and all the drugs he has done. Jessica is seventeen too. She seems not to have much in common with anyone anymore – not even her best friend Christie.

Every year Brian throws a 4th of July party. The party is never great, but there is free beer, so people always go. Gus and Jessica meet each other there. They watch fireworks outside and light sparklers. Gus says that he is not the sort of guy she thinks he is. He tells her a secret he has never told anyone before.


The film took nearly two years to complete. Katz explained the reason for such as being due to the film's editor, Zach Clark, living in Virginia while he lived in Brooklyn. Clark would send edited footage on a DVD to Katz, who would then respond by sending notes to Clark.[3]


The film debuted at the 2006 South by Southwest Film Festival[4] and subsequently played at almost a dozen other festivals around the country and a two-week exclusive run at the Pioneer Theatre in New York City.


The New York Times stated that "Dance Party USA is a remarkably delicate construction, directed with extraordinary empathy by Aaron Katz." In addition, The New York Sun placed it at number nine on their Top 10 Films of 2006 list and critic Amy Taubin lauded it in Art Forum, saying it was "in her pantheon of coming of age films."[5]


  1. ^ "Benten Films #2: Quiet City/Dance Party USA, or M*****core is dead: Aaron Katz's diptych". Slant Magazine. July 25, 2008.
  2. ^ "AARON KATZ, "COLD WEATHER"". Filmmaker Magazine. February 12, 2011.
  3. ^ Armstrong, Josh E (2008-03-11). "Aaron Katz talks Dance Party, Quiet City". Retrieved 2008-03-12.
  4. ^ "DVD Review: Quiet City/Dance Party, USA". Moviefone. February 5, 2008.
  5. ^ "If You Listen, You'll Hear Adulthood Approaching". The New York Times. November 15, 2006.

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