The 2005 mumblecore classic kicks off UW Cinematheque's series on filmmaker Andrew Bujalski. Info
Perennial mumblecore favorite Andrew Bujalski’s second feature, 2005's Mutual Appreciation, is about as good as an introduction to the genre as any other film. Using a hand-held camera and shooting cinema verité style in black in white, Bujalski also plays a lead on-screen role in this slacker comedy about three young adults in New York City who are trying, kind of, to go about their daily lives and not cross invisible boundaries with one another.
Alan (Justin Rice, also of the band Bishop Allen) is a recent transplant to New York City trying to get his band back together again. Andrew Bujalski is Lawrence, Alan’s friend, who is dating Ellie (Rachel Clift). A love triangle does not fully ensue as both Ellie and Alan acknowledge there is something between them, but opt not to act on it. The naturalistic style and dialogue are reminiscent of kitchen-sink realism (think 1959's Look Back In Anger or 1963's The Sporting Life).
The turbulence of American life has not upended the timeliness of this film and it still holds up today. Don’t expect heart-pounding drama or scathing takedowns à la Alex Ross Perry, a beautifully understated gem that will pair nicely with UW Cinematheque’s March 28 screening of Bujalski’s Funny Ha Ha (2002), for which the director will be visiting in person. —Edwanike Harbour