3 items from 2014
Written and directed by Joe Swanberg
It is an inherent belief that the holiday season and family gatherings go hand-in-hand like puffy earmuffs on an exposed frozen ear. Well, writer-director (and co-star) Joe Swanberg backs up this assertion with his dysfunctional familial gem Happy Christmas. The gift-giving in Happy Christmas is predicated upon breezy disillusionment, personal and professional malaise, and the underscoring of being unfulfilled. Once again Swanberg puts his unique stamp on the microscopic root of relationships and the fragile consequences of coping with the pressures of such interaction.
Swanberg — whose underrated 2013 romantic comedy Drinking Buddies examined the vague connections of a male/female co-worker best buddy relationship with undercurrent sexual attraction — delves into the quirky dynamics of a sibling tandem and the circle of family and friends that make up their existing bubble pitted against the background holiday cheer. Happy Christmas is gingerly perceptive and »
- Frank Ochieng
Over the course of his filmmaking career, Joe Swanberg has garnered a number of fans with a filmography that includes Hannah Takes The Stairs, Caitlin Plays Herself, and Drinking Buddies, as well as a contribution to the horror anthology V/H/S. Many were excited to hear that the filmmaker was already well into a new project, which made its debut at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Titled Happy Christmas, Swanberg once again takes on writing and directing duties, while also appearing onscreen alongside Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, and Lena Dunham. The first trailer for the film has now been released, and can be seen below.
- Deepayan Sengupta
You’ve probably seen his work before.
Director Joe Swanberg is best known for directing “Drinking Buddies” last year that starred Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson and Anna Kendrick. He was one of the collaborators in the cult favorite horror compilation “V/H/S” with the segment called “The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger.”
And maybe you’ve seen him on the big screen like the recent horror thriller “You’re Next,” in which he played as one the family victims.
Swanberg made his directorial debut with the 2005’s indie film “Kissing on the Mouth,” a film about recent college graduates on sex. And then he followed up with “Lol,” that starred with Greta Gerwig. With Gerwig, they further collaborated with 2007’s “Hannah Takes the Stairs” and 2008’s “Night and Weekends.”
- Gig Patta
3 items from 2014
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