The Motel Life

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PrintInternational Arthouse Series

The Motel Life

  • 2013
  • Directed By: Alan and Gabe Polsky
  • Rated R
  • Drama
  • 85 Minutes
  1. Sunday, April 20, 2014 6:30 p.m.
Still image from the film The Motel Life
The Motel Life explores the intense bond between two brothers living on the fringes of Reno, Nevada. They grew up dependent on each other and their big imaginations to escape the challenges of their transient life. When the brothers are involved in a fatal accident, it forces them to choose between running or facing reality. It's a story of brotherhood, shared dreams and the redemptive power of hope. The film won the Audience Award for Best Film, Best Screenplay Award and Best Editing Award at the 2012 Rome Film Festival. The Motel Life stars Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, Dakota Fanning and Kris Kristofferson and was directed by Alan and Gabe Polsky.


The film is based on the critically acclaimed novel by Willy Vlautin. Vlautin, a novelist and musician, will be attending the screening and answer audience questions after the film. Vlautin has published four novels -- THE MOTEL LIFE (2007), NORTHLINE (2008), LEAN ON PETE (2010) and THE FREE (2014). Vlautin founded the band Richmond Fontaine in 1994. The band has produced nine studio albums to date and were inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame in 2013. Vlautin is originally from Reno, Nevada and currently resides in Scappoose, Oregon.

The screening of the film and appearance by Willy Vlautin were made possible by Polsky Films, Indiana University Cinema and Visit Bloomington.