Dedalus is a fiction triptych portraying community, love, and loss.

In rural Iowa, a grocery cashier watches helplessly as classmates conceal their act of sexual violence against his teenaged step-sister. Will she keep the child? A hustler tricks for food, shelter, and intimacy during a winter in New York City. A young woman takes him in, but nothing satiates his unrequited love for an older gay client. Mortality compels a father to leave his home in Los Angeles and move in with his daughter.

Jonah Greenstein's gorgeously shot feature debut laces loneliness with beauty to create a film of startling cinematic intimacy.
"An impressive debut."
- Roger Walker-Dack, Queerguru

"Reminiscent of Shame and Eyes Wide Shut."
- David Reddish, Queerty

"An expressionist portrait of lost souls in flux.
Greenstein is comfortable with long, naturalistic takes that compel the viewer to slow down and adjust from the whiz-bang showmanship of your standard commercial film. He’s interested in behavior, not revelation, though he’s not immune to shots of nature and the industrial world that are as beautifully lighted, by director and co-cinematographer Jake Saner, as the metaphoric vistas of prime Terrence Malick. Its general mode is meditative. You either feel your way into the film or you tune it out. And one of its strengths is that it isn’t bothered with fulfilling your mainstream expectations. There’s a purity to Greenstein’s vision that — when the film succeeds and when the film fails sustains. It makes us wonder what delights this nascent filmmaker might have in store for us."

- Dan Loughry, Hornet

"Greenstein shows the ways in which an intimate encounter with a stranger can make all the difference."
- Jose Solís, The Film Stage
A film by Jonah Greenstein
92 minutes | color | 2020
Film Background

DEDALUS was developed in collaboration with the communities depicted and thus shaped a story that transcends the individual and embraces collectivity. Director Jonah Greenstein used both
professional and non-professional actors cast through an open call throughout regional school and community theatre programs in New York and Iowa, as well as the same gay chat apps that inspired film.

Greenstein’s style is marked by an ensemble of richly detailed characters, minimal dialogue, and a reliance instead on complex, nuanced imagery that emphasizes characters over plot, as well as the use of a small, intimate production crew.

Parts of the film are a modular series of encounters while others are entirely unscripted. Greenstein’s experience editing vérité documentaries has taught him to continue the writing process through post-production, continually building and rebuilding story structure and meaning that is informed by the footage. His editing style has been called "balletic" by The New Yorker.

DEDALUS stars stage actor Thomas Jay Ryan, known for his work with theatre directors Richard Foreman and Ivo van Hove, and filmmaker Hal Hartley's Henry Fool, and its sequels Fay Grim and Ned Rifle. Ryan has been lauded by the New York Times for "meticulous, almost formal, yet ungovernable" performances.

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