Just got out of the world premiere screening of Andrew Bujalski's Mutual Appreciation, another curious little film about the ways young people struggle to communicate. Well, I say "another" and it sounds pejorative - it's just that it seems like a common theme at the festival this year; the three films I've seen thus far could all be considered in dialogue with one another, without really covering the same territory. In fact, Mutual Appreciation is very, very different from either Four-Eyed Monsters of Kissing on the Mouth. Whereas those films are very much conceptually and narratively reliant on new technology, there's a timeless quality to Bujalski's talky-talky setpieces and black-and-white real-film cinematography. It actually reminds me a lot of A Hard Day's Night - yes, the Beatles movie - it the way it implants too-good-to-fake spontaneity into its fiction. To mix my British Invasion references, star Justin Rice has a bit of a young Mick Jagger in him ... by way of, like, Rick Moranis. It takes awhile to get going, but by the time Rice finds himself in a strange girl's bathroom, taking off his wig to try on a dress, I was hooked. In fact, I like it more and more as I sit here thinking about it.Hopefully tomorrow morning I'll have a chance to write a few full reviews, but right now I'm off to the premiere of Straight Line. It's another tough timeslot, but I decided to forgo the sole screening of Todd Solondz's Palindromes (which is sure to make it to the Angelika sometime soon) and the Flaming Lips doc The Fearless Freaks (which plays again on Wednesday) in order to catch something I might not otherwise get to see.
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