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 Post subject: Re: BD 76 Computer Chess
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 5:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:04 pm
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George Drooly wrote:
I disliked Bujalski's earlier films, so it took me a while to get around to this, despite my interest in the subject matter and my being old enough to have lived through the era represented and been around a lot of the tech and the business. I loved it, and think it's one of the most slyly intelligent and ambitious (and knowingly funny without being condescending) science fiction films of this century.

It's curious how this kind of deceptively small SF film seems to be the mode for the more successful attempts at the genre of late. This, Primer, Her, Upstream Color all seem very intimate, even minor, but each have subtle, often inexplicit moments, or a succession of moments, where the themes bloom in your mind and there are implications of humanity being irrevocably altered.

I watched Bujalski's follow-up Results shortly after, and loved it as well, though I think it's a lesser film, perhaps by design. Always loved Kevin Corrigan and Guy Pearce, and they were smartly used here. All the negative reviews seem to harp on the film's lack of "structure" or "plot" but this is the first romantic comedy I've seen in maybe decades that interested me, precisely because of its storyline's openness and lack of resolution, while maintaining thematic concerns.

Very fascinating to see someone so associated with "mumblecore" take such ambitious formal and thematic steps with his last couple films. I hate to say that's what makes these last two films better than his earlier ones, but there's something to be said for meeting film history halfway.


Completely agree with your summary of Results, although I think I preferred it to Computer Chess. I may need to revisit the latter though, as my patience has grown stronger in the years since seeing it and I feel I'd appreciate it more after having seen and enjoyed Results.

As for the 'mumblecore' (or ex-mumblecore) filmmakers, I think Bujalski is one of the good ones and his films will have more longevity than many of his peers' work. He also seems to be more cineliterate which helps.


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 Post subject: Re: BD 76 Computer Chess
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:43 pm
Results was an unfocused mess, and I read that a lot of the dialogue was improvised (which i would say is never a good thing). I've seen one example of a mumblecore director making a 'normal' movie successfully, and that was Drinking Buddies (2013 Joe Swanberg). I liked it quite a bit, so I later watched some of his other films, and they were all bad mumblecore. There may be a kneejerk reaction for people over 40 to dislike the whole mumblecore genre. I think that it's only for younger people.


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 Post subject: Re: BD 76 Computer Chess
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:32 am 
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Location: Hants, UK
copen wrote:
Results was an unfocused mess, and I read that a lot of the dialogue was improvised (which i would say is never a good thing). I've seen one example of a mumblecore director making a 'normal' movie successfully, and that was Drinking Buddies (2013 Joe Swanberg). I liked it quite a bit, so I later watched some of his other films, and they were all bad mumblecore. There may be a kneejerk reaction for people over 40 to dislike the whole mumblecore genre. I think that it's only for younger people.


Different strokes I guess - I personally found Drinking Buddies to be an unfocused mess (and same with this year's Digging for Fire). A better example of a 'normal' film made successfully by a 'mumblecore' filmmaker might be Cyrus, which was definitely went a little under-the-radar but I loved it (and since then the Duplass Brothers have bagged themselves an HBO series).

And yes, fair enough in admitting a general dislike for 'mumblecore'. I can't stand the majority of it, and I'm only 25...but there are a few gems in there, mostly when the filmmakers grow up a little, or get a bit more of a budget or more renowned actors. If anything, their lower budget films seem to act as a process of working out the kinks before they get into the good stuff (if they can shake it off that is). For me, Joe Swanberg is repeating the same mistakes, whilst the Duplass Brothers and Lynn Shelton are refining (only occasionally hitting a wall), and Alex Ross Perry and Andrew Bujalski have gone off on their own tangents.


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 Post subject: Re: BD 76 Computer Chess
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:53 am 
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We have an entire thread about Mumblecore if further discussion of the subgenre is needed


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