Frances Ha (2012) - “It’s That Thing”

Title: Baghead.

Number: Fourteenth.

Writer-DirectorsJay & Mark Duplass.

Genre: "Mumblecore" horror-comedy.

Released: 2008

Seen on: DVD.

Seen Before: Never.

Starring: Ross Partridge, Steve Zissis, Greta Gerwig, Elise Muller.

Running Time: 77 minutes.

Favorite Performance: Steve Zissis as Chad.

Favorite Line: "Oh Jesus, you are sick man." Movie in a nutshell.

Favorite Moment: Chad, Michelle & Catherine sneak into a party whilst talking on their phones, and then Matt, in an attempt to do the same, but having forgotten his mobile, uses his wallet as a phone, and gets caught. Was just a silly idea that I smiled at.

Thoughts: This was my first meeting with the idea of ‘mumblecore’, I didn’t know anything about, it was just the idea of the film itself fascinated me. At the beginning, I wasn’t expecting much, and wasn’t feeling that impressed, especially with some of the performances.

But then, as the film went on, I started kind of liking it. There have been millions of crappy edited horror movies, but this one, whilst I may not have liked all of the characters, did seem more character orientated. It wasn’t really even a horror, more a dramedy (drama comedy) with horror elements. Yes, there was nothing new here, but it did feel better done than a lot of similar films.

The acting, which is imperative in a film such as this, wasn’t as bad as I expected. Steve Zissis made a good everyday man who struggled with his attraction to an unattainable girl, he was likable, funny in sections, he just surprised me, and of the four, I feel he has the best future as a solid, Paul Giamatti esque actor.

Ross Partridge was the good looker of the male side, and yet, in certain scenes, he gave a good emotional subtext I didn’t expect, sometimes making you sorry for him when you didn’t want to be. Elise Muller was the better of the two female acts, she seemed more natural and believable in the role, I felt more as if I was watching a woman rather than an actor, if you get what I mean.

However, Greta Gerwig, the supposed breakout star, was the weak link for me, whilst her performance gradually improved, she just seemed less natural, trying to get your attention, and I just didn’t connect with her at all. She seemed shrilly and over the top at times, she put me out of the film slightly.

As a representative of the new genre ‘mumblecore’, it was better than expected. It is worth a watch, but it isn’t anything new. More, just a solid film. Though the final scene didn’t particularly impress me, I admit.

Thumbs Up, 6 out of 10.

97.3 :: 'mumblecore' dir. by tao lin & megan boyle

'mumblecore' dir. by tao lin & megan boyle // mdma films, 2011


the movie begins w. tao & megan both speaking in the same tone, w. the same inflections

that’s what happens in a relationship

the 2 start talking like each other

the 2 start high fiving each other & punching e/o in the arm, like megan & tao do in a bedroom, then she tells him abt a dream where someone’s touching her ass, & on the bed they seem v unaware / unconcered w/ the recording, hey don’t touch e/o much unless in a humorously violent way, at first, like in the library when he sticks his hands in her mouth & stretches her cheeks, then they start touching e/o more ‘affectionately’ as the movie ‘unfolds’

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