The Art of Self-Defense — Official Teaser Trailer


added: Fri, Mar 8th '19

Jesse Eisenberg signs up for karate lessons in the first official teaser trailer for the upcoming dark comedy "The Art of Self-Defense."

Set to make its world premiere this weekend at the SXSW Film Festival, the film sees Eisenberg as a mild-mannered young man who, after experiencing a traumatic event, has decided to sign up for self-defense classes. But when he seeks out the guidance of a mysterious, yet magnetic karate instructor (played by Alessandro Nivola, from "You Were Never Really Here"), he soon finds himself drawn into the violent world of hypermasculinity.

Co-starring Imogen Poots (Green Room, That Awkward Moment) and Leland Orser (Taken), "The Art of Self-Defense" is written and directed by filmmaker Riley Stearns, who previously made his feature debut with 2015's deprogramming kidnapping dramedy "Faults."

The film is currently slated for a June 21st theatrical release. Watch the teaser, above.

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.


directed by   Riley Stearns

starring   Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Poots, Leland Orser

release date   June 21, 2019

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