7 items from 2010
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Robert here, back with more of my series on great contemporary directors. This week we're going to call it the "hear me out" edition or the "please don't shun me" edition. Bringing up this director doesn't usually yield very positive results. However I will note that I'll only be discussing Bujalski here and not any supposed "movement" that he is a part of (as I've not seen any other films from that "movement"). And I hope you'll give the man and his work some consideration. Next week we will return to the realm of the almost universally beloved.
Maestro: Andrew Bujalski
Known For: Super-independent movies about aimless ordinary people.
Influences: Cassavetes is a big one. Jarmusch and Linklater too.
Masterpieces: I'm not dumb enough to suggest that Bujalski's had a masterpiece when a while back I declared that Christopher Nolan didn't.
Better than you remember: Probably all of them if, »
6:49 Hi kids. Tonight is Tony night! The arrivals have been going on NY1 for approximately 45 minutes now but what do you now? Turns out my cable was all messed up so I spent the first 45 on the telephone with Monique trying to fix this damn thing. I was distracted by occasional glimpses of the stars. It's finally back on so I get the Glee team.
Matthew Morrison is going to try to make the PBS taping of South Pacific before it closes (he originated the often shirtless Joe Cable role in the revival) but he doesn't know for sure if he'll be able to do it. Translation: I am way too important now. Everyone must cater to my needs.Lea is busy. She's singing "Don't Rain on My Parade" tonight. Didn't she sing that on Glee? She has no return to Broadway planned. »
- NATHANIEL R
One of Greta Gerwig's favourite stories is about the time the young Marlon Brando first walked on stage, apparently looking so natural some of the audience assumed he was a stagehand or some guy off the street who'd just wandered up there accidentally. "People thought, 'What's happening? Is that acting?'" she says. "Not that I'm comparing myself to Marlon Brando but that's so exciting to me."
We've become accustomed to seeing people do things in the movies that we never do in real life, like walking away from explosions without turning around, dancing alone in the street when they get good news, or delivering inspirational speeches off the cuff. We know it's not real. We don't want it to be real. »
- Steve Rose
The latest from mumblecore maestro Andrew Bujalski is less charming, says Catherine Shoard
Mumblecore may not be a form that endures – at least judging from this third effort from the genre's grandaddy. A tale of two sisters, one in a wheelchair, one not, both mid-30s, both in and out of beds and jobs in Austin, Texas, it's considerably less charming than his previous two, Funny Ha-Ha and Mutual Appreciation. There's a lot less romance: – the sisters' chief traits are kooky grins and insufferable self-absorption. Yet it's weirdly gripping, an authentically banal slice of life. Mumblecore must die. But maybe from its ashes will come something spikier, stranger.
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- Catherine Shoard
In this season of party political broadcasts, here's an arty cinematical podcast, talking to uncompromisingly independent British film-maker Ben Hopkins about his smugglers' tale The Market, mumblecore pioneer Andrew Bujalski about his off-kilter romance Beeswax, and reviewing Roman Polanski's The Ghost and the Gervais-Merchant film Cemetery Junction.
The Market is a comic smuggler's tale/anatomy of global capitalism set at the borders of Turkey and Azerbaijan in 1994, about a smalltime hustler who tries to land the cash to get into the new lucrative mobile phone business. Hopkins tells Jason Solomons about his journey from north London to eastern Turkey via Afghanistan, how he has managed to make four feature-length films outside the Anglo-American film industry, and how it felt to beat top Turkish film-maker Nuri Bilge Ceylan to the best film prize at the Antalya film festival.
- Jason Solomons, Peter Bradshaw, Jason Phipps, Observer
Andrew Bujalski's one of the most distinctive directors of drama to emerge in the last decade. The elements that define his work are instantly recognizable: the abrupt starts and stops (those words seem more appropriate in regard to his movies than "beginnings" and "endings") and his instistence on not offering resolutions at the end of his films; the careful interplay of details that mark both his characterization and his framing; and the nuanced, often beautiful images he creates with his regular cinematographer, Matthias Grunsky. Frankly, he's got more in common with Mike Leigh and recent Patrice Chereau than with his friend Joe Swanberg.
Bujalski's first two features were the naturalistic miniature Funny Ha Ha and the bleak, ambiguous Mutual Appreciation. His newest film, Beeswax, can be seen as an application of the lessons of those first two films: after Mutual Appreciation's urban sprawl, he's focused again on a »
7 items from 2010
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