In 1969, Amy Grappell and her middle-class family moved from Flatbush, Brooklyn to the suburbs of Long Island in pursuit of the American Dream. She was just seven when her unhappily married parents met another couple at the local beach club – and embarked on a four-way love affair that would radically change all of their lives. The documentary QUADRANGLE tells the intriguing story of a couple challenging social conventions and the repercussions for the adults and their children.
Blending home videos, photographs and modern-day interviews, director Amy Grappell reveals how two bored middle-class couples began swapping partners in the era of “free love,” searching for an alternative to divorce. But they were not really the social iconoclasts they thought they were, and their four-way marital bliss was only temporary as gossip took its toll, and tangible factors like the challenge of living arrangements set in. Interviewed separately, her parents, the now-estranged Paul and Deanna, recount their life in the early ‘70s on side-by-side split screens, highlighting the parallels and intersections of shared memory.
Amy Grappell premiered QUADRANGLE at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, where it received an Honorable Mention Jury Prize. It also won Best Documentary Short and the Wholphin Best Short Film awards at SXSW 2010, and Best Live Action Short at AFI 2010, as well as screening at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, True/False and New York’s New Directors/New Films Festival (presented by MoMA and Film Society of Lincoln Center). Grappell is currently developing a feature film based on the group-marriage experiment with producer Chris Krager.
QUADRANGLE is directed by Amy Grappell; cinematography by Christian Moore; edited by Aaron Raff; producers, Amy Grappell and Chris Krager; co-produced by Aaron Raff.