• Published in Film


New Yorker illustration by Adrian Tomine

LOVE this newyorker article putting low budget hipster films into genre of “mumblecore” cinema:

You’re about twenty-five years old, and you’re no more than, shall we say, intermittently employed, so you spend a great deal of time talking with friends about trivial things or about love affairs that ended or never quite happened; and sometimes, if you’re lucky, you fall into bed, or almost fall into bed and just enjoy the flirtation, with someone in the group. This chatty sitting around, with sex occasionally added, is not the sole subject of “mumblecore,” a recent genre of micro-budget independent movies, but it’s a dominant one. Mumblecore movies are made by buddies, casual and serious lovers, and networks of friends, and they’re about college-educated men and women who aren’t driven by ideas or by passions or even by a desire to make their way in the world.

[T]he style wasn’t named until 2005, when the sound mixer Eric Masunaga, having a drink at a bar during the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW), in Austin, used the term to describe an independent film he had worked on. The sobriquet stuck, even though the filmmakers dislike it. In the films I’ve seen, however, the sound is quite clear. It’s the emotions that mumble.


Judy Prays
Documentary Director

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Andrew Bujalski is a great, great filmmaker and under-appreciated. Everything else mumble seems like a knock-off.

Eric #

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