mumblecore

4

“We don’t need a studio. We don’t need ten ‘yes’-es. We don’t need to pitch it. We can just make a movie.”

Joe Swanberg and Jake Johnson discuss Digging for Fire. Read our interview here.

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I watched this film and I found it really impacting. Just the fact that director Andrew Haigh has managed to make a queer mumblecore film is awesome in itself. It also capitalizes on the naturalism and improvisation so key to the genre to perfectly depict the relationship between the two characters. Their chemistry makes for a spot on performance, and is truly revealing of the reality of a lot of queer people right now. Even without the queer angle I think Weekend has tremendous power as a tragic romance.

And of course the gratuitous (artfully done) sex scenes necessary to tell the story don’t hurt either ;)

(PS. this is on netflix now! go watch)

It’s that thing when you’re with someone and you love them and they know it, and they love you and you know it, but it’s a party! And you’re both talking to other people and you’re laughing and shining and you look across the room and catch each other’s eyes. But…but not because you’re possessive or it’s precisely sexual but because that is your person in this life. And it’s funny and sad but only because this life will end. And it’s this secret world that exists right there in public unnoticed that no one knows about. It’s sort of like how they say that other dimensions exist all around us, but we don’t have the ability to perceive them. That’s…that’s what I want out of a relationship or just life, I guess.
—  Francis Ha

74. The Pleasure of Being Robbed (Joshua Safdie, 2008)

Haters of mumblecore should find themselves seething with rage by the end of this one and, judging by all the reviews I read before I settled down to watch it, many of them have never gotten over it. Luckily, with films like this, I find you can take complaints about nothing happening, terrible acting and stunted dialogue as a recommendation, and sure enough I enjoyed The Pleasure of Being Robbed. This is pretty much mumblecore to the nth degree; at least half of the film consists of various very similar episodes in which a young woman steals stuff - handbags, mostly, but sometimes grapes - for seemingly no reason whatsoever. The one significant relationship in the film is with some incredibly annoying trust fund pseudo-hipster, exactly the kind of irritating character that the naysayers will try to tell you that all mumblecore films are full of. Despite all that, I thought it was pretty decent. It’s certainly not for everyone, but twenty-somethings who find themselves exhausted by personal relationships, pacified by technology and alienated by urban environments should find something to relate to here. Wikipedia seems to suggest this started life as a glorified handbag advert, which leaves something of a bitter taste, but whatever.