Andrew Bujalski – Guest of Honor of 22 MFF

Andrew Bujalski
American filmmaker – founder of “mumblecore” sub-genre – is coming to Motovun • One of world’s leading and iconic indie directors • Student of legendary Dušan Makavejev • His three films will be shown

The U.S. filmmaker Andrew Bujalski is one of the directors who, in the early 2000s, wanted to return the indie movement to its basic, primarily to the ideas of John Cassavetes. In his time, the U.S. indie movement was very successful, even becoming mainstream: Oscars had been won and Hollywood had been conquered. Young authors like Bujalski wanted to distance themselves from that trend; they did not want to deal with politics or important global issues. Instead, their focus was on the somewhat ordinary, but uncharted everyday life of – usually white – protagonists between 20 and 30 years of age. In these films, story-line is less relevant – it is based on minor conflicts and small personal dramas. The films are also characterized by lots of inarticulate conversation almost on the level of noise – mumbling. This mumbling dialogues gave the sub-genre its name – mumblecore – and its directors, in a true indie manner, were all too happy to accept it.

The mumblecore movement, based in the Texan city of Austin, brought together a number of authors, from the Duplass brothers to actress/director Greta Gerwig and Joe Swanberg to the directors that had made such films even earlier, like Dan Sallitt. Still, it is this year’s guest of Motovun that is considered the first – and, possibly, the most important – mumblecore director, Andrew Bujalski (1977). His first feature-length film Funny Ha Ha laid the foundation of the genre. Together with the 2013 film Computer Chess, we will have an opportunity to see it in Motovun as a special screening.

His last film, Support the Girls, in which – unexpectedly – franchises Scream and Orange Is the New Black can be seen, premiered at Karlovy Vary. It will also be shown in Motovun as part of the main program. In the film’s title, Bujalski ironizes the slogan Americans use to support their troops fighting worldwide – “Support the Boys”. He wants to remind that, besides the boys fighting in their uniforms far away, there is another group of fighters who fight their battles on a daily basis in our immediate vicinity. These are the diligent workers, cooks, maids, waitresses and other members of the working class on whose underpaid work the American services industry rests. Dealing with this “girl army”, Bujalski builds the plot around a fast-food restaurant whose waitresses wash cars in topless in order to gain money for the bail for their colleague who ended up in jail. Their plans get spoiled by their primitive boss and by a burglar who gets stuck in the restaurant’s ventilation duct.

Motovun Film Festival is very proud to introduce one of the most important figures of the 21 st -century indie film as its guest of honor. Another reason for having Bujalski with us is the fact that he was a student of Dušan Makevejev, the recently deceased great figure of world cinema whom we are going to pay tribute, too.

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