Happy birthday, Joe Swanberg!
Artists who mine life’s minutiae are by no means new, but mumblecore bespeaks a true 21st-century sensibility, reflective of MySpace-like social networks and the voyeurism and intimacy of YouTube. It also signals a paradigm shift in how movies are made and how they find an audience. “This is the first time, mostly because of technology, that someone like me can go out and make a film with no money and no connections,” said Aaron Katz, whose movies “Dance Party USA” and “Quiet City” will be shown as part of a 10-film mumblecore series at the IFC Center that begins Wednesday and continues through Sept. 4.
“It was an obnoxious name nobody liked and it was meant to be a joke,” said the director Joe Swanberg, who was at the festival that year with his first feature, “Kissing on the Mouth.” “But we haven’t been able to get rid of it.”
It was Mr. Bujalski who first publicly uttered the term in an interview with Indiewire.com. “I should apologize for that,” he said recently.
It’s only fitting that the etymology should be a point of contention, since the films in question often deal with the fraught process of identity formation. Journalists and bloggers have floated other tags, including the self-explanatory “bedhead cinema” and “Slackavettes,” in homage to the patron saint of American indie auteurs, John Cassavetes. The IFC Center series, despite using “mumblecore” in its publicity materials, is officially called “The New Talkies: Generation D.I.Y.”Mr. Swanberg, 25, is the most prolific and the most committed to improvisation. His new film, “Hannah Takes the Stairs,” which will have a weeklong run during the series, was shot without a script; he shares writing credit with the actors. As in most artistic movements, there is cross-pollination and tacit one-upmanship. Mr. Swanberg said he made “Kissing on the Mouth” partly in response to Mr. Bujalski’s “Funny Ha Ha,” whose characters he found passive-aggressive.
But the prevailing spirit is of friendly collaboration. Two of the three male leads in Mr. Swanberg’s “Hannah” are played by Mr. Bujalski and Mark Duplass. Mr. Katz edited the film’s trailer. Mr. Swanberg appears in Mr. Katz’s “Quiet City” and Mr. Ross’s “Hohokam.” Source: www.nytimes.com
"The NY Times points out a fundamental connection between the Mumblecore movement and technology:
Mumblecore bespeaks a true 21st-century sensibility, reflective of MySpace-like social networks and the voyeurism and intimacy of YouTube. It also signals a paradigm shift in how movies are made and how they find an audience. “This is the first time, mostly because of technology, that someone like me can go out and make a film with no money and no connections,” said Aaron Katz
Technology has clearly changed not only the way movies are being made, but their distribution as well. The Mumblecore movement is a great example of filmmakers taking more of a DIY approach. This is just the beginning".
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