Friday, June 01, 2007

Die Mumblecore! Die please!

Okay there's an article about this supposed movement called mumblecore in the Guardian. Can I say please STOP! I've actually seen "Mutual Appreciation, "Dance Party USA", and even "Four Eyed Monster". I enjoyed "Four Eyed Monster" and was impressed how the filmmakers collaborated with others to create a unique urban tale about love in our media infested culture. It also helped that the filmmakers knew their stuff.

But to compare these films or genre of films to John Cassavetes films seems just wrong. I mean sure Cassavetes used his friends mainly in his films, but his friends were such artists as Peter Falk, and Gena Rowlands who were professional actors. These artists brought a quality to Cassavetes films that cannot be duplicated and actually made the films much more interesting.

Filmmaking is filmmaking, and how you get it done is all that matters as long as you get it done, but please don't compare a great filmmaker like Cassavetes to a movement called "mumblecore" or even call these filmmakers ""the Slackavetes". It's just SO wrong. Cassavetes was a filmmaker who was ten times as talented, and was a master at filmmaking and acting. Like everything that is media related the media wants to label something or compare something to something else.

Why not just say it's original and their films have some elements that Cassavetes explored, but yet it's a different animal. Andrew Bujalski is a talented filmmaker. I may not agree that his work is as good as the critics say, but I do recognize talent. Aaron Katz, Susan Buice & Arin Crumley also are talented, so let's be clear these filmmakers are pretty unique. Their part of the DIY attitude out there, and there films show original thinking, and original thought. Maybe that's where the comparison between Cassavetes and them should be written about.

The one thing I found interesting in the above Guardian interview is that even Mark Duplass, writer and star of The Puffy Chair, which made the 2005 official Sundance selection, concedes, "Sometimes I see films like ours and I think 'Fuck off dude, there's a war going on, who cares about your relationship?" You see even the creators of these films realize how silly the hype is.

Picking up a camera and making a story is one thing, but in an age where digital is fast and cheap just because you can do so doesn't make it good. If anything these filmmakers that make up this so-called "mumblecore" ( I wince every time I write it) are ingenious in marketing their films to their core fan base. If they make money at it great, but because of their hype please lets not debase a renowned filmmaker like Cassavetes. Let's have some respect!

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