Ever watch a movie and ask, “Why is everyone so white?” or “Why does these people sound average (not Travolta in Phenomenon average but really average)?” or “Kids today, they lack direction, initiative, drive, and hell, they don’t even drink or smoke enough for it to drag them down and derail their dreams, if they pulled together the energy to have any in the first place dammit (Janet)…”
Ok, so that last one was not a question (and it has a Rocky Horror reference for you nerds).
If you’ve had these thoughts while either watching a movie at home or in a brick walled basement of a coffee bar or video rental store cellar, then you witnessed mumblecore.
My friend Rachael recently sent me her list of top movies I should watch. In the middle of this list, and one of the few entries on Netflix, was Cold Weather. I am not going to recap it here (read more about it in this Slant Magazine article – spoiler alert).
As the movie was ending, or rather, as it went blacker than The Sopranos season finale (spoiler), I was not surprised. Years of minoring in film studies (my friends did well in class, I watched movies) had prepared me for this event.
Nonplussed, I texted Rachael and asked if I missed something or was this another one of those indie, Sundance films that plays by its own rules and can claim profound meaning in any shadows thrown up on the screen as we suspend our disbelief and build the fourth wall (take that film study!).
After a few more texts, I understood the movie a bit better, Googled mumblecore, and learned something. More than I can say about some of the stuff I watch…
(Video note: I know, there’s usually a video here. WordPress would not let me embed the code of the Dammit Janet video, so please click on the highlighted link in the first paragraph.)