Tuesday, July 21, 2009

badhead: horror mumblecore

there has been mounting acclaim and praise over the genre affectionately known as mumblecore. some of the early examples of this curiously named genre are the puffy chair and old joy. its key tags are realist acting, emphasis on the average looking, honest scripts with ironic touches, and of course mumbley speaking. despite the heaps of praise initially bestowed on the above films, they never really caught on with audiences. and among my film geek friends no one really loves it and the appreciation of it seems to top off at some of tolerance to dislike.

BAGHEAD, by mark and jay duplass (the writers and directors of the puffy chair) was hailed as a crossover into mainstream cinema. as you probably guessed, it didnt exactly cross and the mumblecore revolution will have to wait till jonah hill stars in one such film (he is. dont worry).

the premise of baghead was excruiatingly simple like most mumblecore plots. 2 friends and the gifts they are interesting in, all struggling actors, go into the woods to write a movie. romantic entanglements get in the way but not before one of the girls has a dream about a man with a baghead on his head scaring everyone. subtle hijinks ensue and mumbley words are spoken and the movie ends.

like other mumblecore stuff, i didnt love it and i didnt hate it. it was on and then it was off. the last time a film genre tried to the bend the rules this much was the french new wave and maybe if that was just coming around, i would feel the same way. but its hard to deny the excitement and grandeur of breathless or last year at marienbad. those films were miles away from what we are used to. mumblecore just seems like indie cinema with worse acting and a looser plot.

i anxiously look forward to seeing what develops from this unique lil film movement but i dont its quite ready yet.