Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Duplass Brothers

Jay and Mark Duplass are the current, reigning kings of independent cinema. If you've seen "The Puffy Chair" or "Baghead," then you're most likely in agreement with me. At this year's Sundance, not only will audiences see the premiere of their latest offering, "Cyrus" but the 2010 festival will also feature three films produced by the brothers, all playing in competition: "Lovers of Hate," "The Freebie" and "Bass Ackwards."
Hands down these guys are the cream of the "mumblecore" crop. (Surfacing in 2007 at the SXSW film festival, it is a loose appellation used to define an aggregate of filmmakers with a similar lo-fi, ramshackle, relationship-based approach. see also: "Slackavettes") Whereas the trend is to assemble a narrative with a focus on the sometimes harrowing nature of human interaction, usually from the perspective of a group of twenty-something, white individuals, the Duplass bros take the simpler road: tell a good story. Their plots are creative and hilarious, without the common trappings of preciousness that so often accompanies films of this variety. And they're aces at spotlighting the inherent comedy within human emotion, while deftly avoiding a complete humiliation of their subject. I had the same reaction watching "The Puffy Chair" as I did seeing Wes Anderson's "Bottle Rocket" for the first time, noting the arrival of a singular, formidable talent.
Anyway, here's the trailer for "Cyrus." It looks great.

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