13 items from 2015
Meet some of the best directors working today, who haven't gone down the blockbuster movie route...
Ever find it a bit lame when the same big name directors get kicked around for every high profile project? Christopher Nolan, Jj Abrams, maybe the Russo Brothers? With so much focus on blockbuster films these days, getting a major franchise job seems like the main acknowledgement of success for a filmmaker. And yes, both the financial and creative rewards can be great. But there are plenty of other directors out there, doing their own thing, from art house auteurs to Dtv action specialists.
Here are 25 examples.
Even if you don’t know his name, you’ve probably seen Lee Hardcastle’s ultraviolent claymations shared on social media. He first started getting noticed for his two-minute remake of The Thing, starring the famous stop motion penguin Pingu. Far from just a cheap one-joke mash-up, »
Though he dislikes the term himself, Andrew Bujalski is widely regarded as the linchpin of the nebulous mumblecore scene that spawned the likes of the Duplass brothers, Joe Swanberg and Lynn Shelton. Whilst his first three features possess the low budget and shaggy tone that define the scene, Bujalski's films have always been more keenly and delicately observed than many of his peers and the likes of Funny Ha Ha (2002), Mutual Appreciation (2005) and Beeswax (2009) possess a tenderness and interest in their characters that few filmmakers are capable of.
- CineVue UK
Cobie Smulders is not accustomed to being singled out. The How I Met Your Mother star and Marvel universe apparatchik tends to operate in the company of others, which is why she found herself somewhat stricken with panic earlier this year at the Sundance premiere of her latest film, Unexpected, which opens in theaters and on demand this Friday. "Oh shit," she recalls thinking. "I'm in every scene."
It's true, she is — though it's about time. Fans of her CBS sitcom, which concluded its nine-season run last year, might agree »
Thoughtful buddy comedy Doomsdays makes spending time with manic man-children a lot more fun than it should be. You wouldn't want to hang with serial home invaders Dirty Fred (Mutual Appreciation's Justin Rice) and Bruho (Kids' Leo Fitzpatrick) in real life, a truth that writer-director Eddie Mullins underscores every time Fred tricks Bruho into fighting irate homeowners on his behalf or Bruho takes out his anger issues on whatever object is within arm's reach. But Fred and Bruho are charming within the context of Doomsdays' escapist scenario, and Mullins doesn't try to cure his protagonists of their characteristic dickishness. Their impish, unrepentantly destructive behavior actually proves endearing, even when Fred tries to seduce t »
Read More: Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders Take Center Stage in Posters for Sundance Hit 'Results' Almost exactly 10 years ago, Andrew Bujalski was being interviewed by Indiewire contributor Michael Koresky when the filmmaker made an off-the-cuff remark that would haunt him. Shortly after the premiere of Bujalski's sophomore feature "Mutual Appreciation" at the South by Southwest Film Festival, the same week that his debut "Funny Ha Ha" landed on DVD, Bujalski was asked about other contemporary filmmakers whose work — as Koresky put it — "harmonized" with his own. Bujalski recalled rumblings of a "movement" at SXSW, the same year that Joe Swanberg's debut "Kissing on the Mouth" premiered and the Duplass brothers' "The Puffy Chair" won an audience prize. "My sound mixer named the movement 'mumblecore,'" Bujalski said, "which is pretty catchy." In short order, Bujalski wouldn't think so. Two years »
- Eric Kohn
Results came out of Sundance this year, and shows director Andrew Bujalski (Funny Ha Ha, Mutual Appreciation) moving into more polished comedy than the very low-key films that originally made his name. This one stars Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, and Kevin Corrigan as an unlikely trio who are united by Corrigan’s neediness and depression after a divorce. And that […]
- Russ Fischer
Read More: Exclusive: Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders Take Center Stage in Posters for Sundance Hit 'Results' Writer-director Andrew Bujalski is best known as the "Godfather of Mumblecore" thanks to low budget indies "Funny Ha Ha" (2002) and "Mutual Appreciation" (2005), but he's following in the footsteps of contemporaries Joe Swanberg and Lynn Shelton by making the jump to more accessible mainstream comedies in his latest project, "Results." A critical and fan favorite at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, the film stars Cobie Smulders, Guy Pearce and Kevin Corrigan. The official synopsis reads: "Recently divorced, newly rich, and utterly miserable, Danny (Corrigan) would seem to be the perfect test subject for a definitive look at the relationship between money and happiness. Danny's well-funded ennui is interrupted by a momentous trip to the local gym, where he meets self-styled guru-owner Trevor (Pearce) and irresistibly »
- Zack Sharf
"You really do sound married." There's plenty of potential indie darlings hitting theaters this summer among the normal blockbuster fare, and one film coming from the 2015 Sundance Film Festival to the big screen is Results. The comedy stars Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders and Kevin Corrigan in both a professional and romantic love triangle. Mumblecore director Andrew Bujalski steps up to more polished filmmaking with his latest effort, and the first trailer has just arrived. This was one I missed at Sundance, and while the trailer looks amusing, it also looks like it meanders quite a bit, so I'm not sure what to think. Here's the first trailer for Andrew Bujalski's Results, originally from Apple: Results is written and directed by Andrew Bujalski (Funny Ha Ha, Mutual Appreciation). Recently divorced, newly rich, and utterly miserable, Danny (Kevin Corrigan) would seem to be the perfect test subject for a definitive look »
- Ethan Anderton
Mumblecore filmmakers are really breaking out of that limited ghetto as of late. Joe Swanberg has tapped into something great with actors like Anna Kendrick and Jake Johnson, with films like “Drinking Buddies” and “Digging For Fire.” The Duplass Brothers have long since had success in the mainstream world, including their terrific new HBO show “Togetherness.” In the last few years, Lynn Shelton and Drake Doremus have also graduated into, how should we put it, more polished filmmaking. Next in line is Andrew Bujalski, once dubbed “the godfather of mumblecore,” who made two key entries in the genre, “Funny Ha Ha” and “Mutual Appreciation.” At Sundance 2015, Bujalski stepped up with his most mainstream effort to date, “Results,” with quite the name cast, including Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders. And he did so with some pretty hilarious, well, results. The sometimes delusional culture of self-improvement — actualizing your dreams and achieving your goals to instant happiness. »
- Edward Davis
Oh my god, Andrew Bujalski has sold out. The filmmaker with a reputation for populating his indies with non-actors has brought us a film that stars, yes, stars Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders. I don't think I saw a single indie filmmaker in the cast. And it kind of has a plot! And who knows how much money it cost -- he didn't even need to crowdfund. I mean, really, total sellout.
Except that's not the case at all. Results is very much of a piece with Bujalski's previous films, from Mutual Appreciation to Computer Chess. The Austin writer-director's insightfulness about the minutiae of everyday relationships is front and center. The "stars" play characters who work at a gym -- naturally portraying beautiful people without upsetting the balance of the cast.
Danny (Kevin Corrigan) first appears onscreen after his wife locks him out of their New York apartment. Shortly thereafter, »
- Jette Kernion
Park City, Utah – There are still some films to be discussed in my Sundance coverage. Here’s write-ups of “Digging for Fire,” “Entertainment,” and “Results,” which featured the return of festival-approved directors, albeit heading in different directions.
At this year’s festival, two maestros of the ol’ mumblecore days stepped into the big-time spotlight with their new films that boasted their biggest casts and fanciest films yet. The first to show was Joe Swanberg, who has gone from super low-key directing to hosting a celebrity party this side of “This is the End” in “Digging For Fire.” The other is Andrew Bujalski, whose previous films were nerd alerts like “Mutual Appreciation” and most recently “Computer Chess.”
In a reverse course is Rick Alverson’s “Entertainment,” which doesn’t start modestly but attempt to reach a wide audience, but starts with a big promise to reach a very specific audience. An explanation on that below. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
A healthy body does not always make for a healthy spirit in Andrew Bujalski’s “Results,” a wry relationship comedy about a team of personal trainers, their clients, and their shared desire for progress in and out of the gym. The fifth feature for the Austin-based Bujalski, and his first made with professional actors, “Results” is less of a departure for the writer-director than it might initially seem, as he once again homes in on a group of socially awkward characters taking baby steps towards maturity and (maybe) happiness. Acquired by Magnolia Pictures before its Sundance premiere, this delightfully low-key affair won’t pump major box-office iron, but will easily be seen by more people than Bujalski’s first four features combined, which is a very good result indeed.
A movie about personal trainers is one of the last things anyone would have expected from Bujalski, whose proto-Memblecore early films »
- Scott Foundas
"Set in the world of Texas fitness instructors and starring some big-name actors, Andrew Bujalski’s Results looks at first like a concerted attempt to cross over into the world of mainstream rom-coms," begins Bilge Ebiri at Vulture. "But look again." We're collecting reviews of Bujalski's followup to Computer Chess and before that, Beeswax, Mutual Appreciation and Funny Ha Ha. Results features Guy Pearce, Kevin Corrigan and Cobie Smulders. "A perfectly chosen cast sells this unhurried comedy," finds John DeFore in the Hollywood Reporter. » - David Hudson »
13 items from 2015
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