“Materfully told…”  “The depth of both artists (David Arquette and Bai Ling) in their performances are absolutely profound…”  “The Key” is both masterfully and artistically  showcased.  It is a minimalistic cinematic feast for the  mind as well as the eyes…both daring and thought provoking…”   “The Key”  is a tour de force for  writer/director Jefery Levy’ along with actors David Arquette and Bai Ling.”

“Through this poignantly absurd film, Traylor and Levy have created a meta-examination of the reality show industry, identity-obsessed culture, personal performance, and Los Angeles itself. As a viewer, I feel implicated in their critique, but never enough to look away—and that, of course, proves the point. It’s a pertinent work.”

Arthur Glover at Scenester.TV (full review and interview at their site):

After nearly two decades of doing television, director Jefery Levy[Drive, S.F.W.] finally makes his return to feature films with his new one, The Key. Fusing brilliantly composed images and surreal eroticism, told through diary voice-overs courtesy of the film’s outstanding stars [David Arquette, Bai Ling] , Jefery Levy creates an intoxicating music that is all his own for the love genre.



Based on the novel “Kagi” by Japanese author Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, “The Key” is an erotic and ethereal depiction of a marriage gone sour. The film is a return to independent cinema for Jefery Levy, who won the Critics Award at the Venice Film Festival in 1991 for his directorial debut, “Drive.” The film stars David Arquette (“Scream”) and Bai Ling (“The Crow”) as you have never seen them before.

In this visually stunning clip, a tortured David Arquette pours out his inner thoughts and frustrations to the viewer through an uneasy narration of his intimate diary. Suspecting that he’s suffering “from a mental and physical disorder of some kind,” Arquette’s character details how something inexplicable has tainted the love between him and his wife (Ling). Arquette’s voiceover materializes on the screen in surreal fashion, coupled with otherworldly hallucinations that blend visions of a wilting flower, a close-up of his wife and his swimming pool.

‘The Key’ is a visual and spiritual force of nature

‘The Key’ is a visual and spiritual force of nature. Each frame drips with new and unique contemporary art imagery, utilizing both beautiful and terrifying hallucinations. Director Jefery Levy brilliantly exposes the lust, love and jealousy wading in the deepest untold corners of our souls and makes it a truly stimulating experience.

– Nick Leyland




“Sickly genius, Me surpasses the typical film about film, probing the dissociative, ego-less space where ideas, confabulations originate. Jefery Levy (writer/director/editor and star) pulls back Hollywood’s curtain to expose the deranged, inverted world of Reality TV, where the worst ideas become most valuable, and the line between real and imaginary exceedingly blur.”

“The Key is a gripping cinematic tour de force that cannot be missed” (Earl Dittman/Digital Journal)

“A riveting, bold and compelling celluloid examination of erotic desire, with The Key director Jefery Levy has constructed a gripping cinematic tour de force that cannot be missed.”
“In one of the best performances of her stellar career, Bai Ling gives a jaw-droppingly stunning performance in The Key. Her sexually-charged performance will leave you breathless…”
“David Arquette delivers a solid and enthralling performance in The Key. Undeniably sexy and seductive, Arquette’s performance in The Key is a true revelation. A deeply moving and absorbing portrayal….”
Earl Dittman in Digital Journal


“The Key redefines the meaning of experimental filmmaking”

​ ‘The Key​’  written and directed by Jefery Levy is a new and innovative film that explores the relationship between a husband(David Arquette) and his wife(Bai Ling) as they communicate through journals.  Visually powerful, erotically intense and shot like a photography postcard ‘The Key’ redefines the meaning of experimental filmmaking.

Film Critic David Ehrenstein on ME

From Film Critic David Ehrenstein:

Where does self-expression end and self-delusion begin? That’s the question asked by this anti comedy about a “reality television” producer who believes his entire life is secretly being filmed. The film you’re watching is of course proof that he is right. Director Levy stars with Producer and co-scriptwriter Susan Traylor in a sly send-up of self-aggrandizement enlivened by guest turns with such notables as Gina Gershon, Michael Des Barres, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jay McInerney, Julian Sands and Molly Ringwald.

“Seldom is the pain/beauty duality of love so eloquently expressed, as in Jefery Levy’sThe Key. Every frame a poem, The Key reminds us why we love cinema.” –Andrew Bloomenthal Creative Screenwriting

“Seldom is the pain/beauty duality of love so eloquently expressed, as in Jefery Levy’sThe Key. Every frame a poem, The Key reminds us why we love cinema.”

–Andrew Bloomenthal
Creative Screenwriting


Levy is fiercely independent and resourceful and scholarly. In an era when more people have access to making films, we often lose sight of the professional artistic discipline that movie making is and we fail to recognize those formally trained in the craft. I had a chance to talk to Levy about his recent films and his dedication to the profession.