Friday, January 29, 2010

A mission statement: Know Mumblecore

Most of the country will spend the next twelve days or so preoccupied with the outcome of the Saints/Colts Superbowl. I can see how this is an especially important event since a Saints victory would be the comeuppance of the post-Katrina New Orleans ( and by extension all the world's downtrodden) while the Colts are just some other team.
But really, I am and always will be indifferent to major sports franchises, a disposition the frees me up to focus on the really important questions in life. Specifically, what will be the major quirk-fest comedy to get picked up at Sundance this week?
If this seems trivial to you, please note that Sundance comes reasonably close to being an anagram for Sudanese, another oppressed people.

My bet is that the Duplass Brother's junior effort Cyrus will the little indie that could of 2010. Just look at the trailer, it's like their two previous films The Puffy Chair and Baghead, but with actors you know.

And if anyone wants to get up in my grill like "Hey Bro, that looks for like Happy, Texas '97 than Little Miss Sunshine '06." Then just back off, because I don't particularly like The Duplass Brother's previous films, but I do think that if this one is to hit, it is very important that I become the web's foremost authority on the sub, sub-genre the Brother's work in: Mumblecore.

Mumblecore includes, at most, 4 or 5 movies you have heard of, so if it seems a bit early for the genre to have a name, it's probably because it was coined by Eric Masunaga, the sound editor on some early MC outings such as Funny Ha Ha, and Mutual Appreciation. Once you've seen a film of this genre, it isn't hard to recognize it's main attributes (free floating camera, quasi improvised dialogue, etc.) probably because they are strikingly similar aesthetically to those of any Dogme 95 film. The main difference is the emphasis on inarticulate college graduates approaching their thirties. In fact, since the genre is so limited in terms of actual titles, it is probably easier to recognize by the overlap of talent involved.
So lets call this a rambling mission statement. In the coming weeks I will view as many of these Mumblecore pictures to see if there is any place for this genre to go, you know, besides putting John C Reilly in them, which will no doubt be a great move, for now.
For Saturday: A review if 2009's well received Humpday. Directed by Liz Shelton, starring Mark Duplass and one of the guys from the Blair witch Project, which may or may not be Mumblecore.

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