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Tag: Andrew Bujalski (1-2 of 2)

Sundance 2013: 'Computer Chess' wins the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize (as well it should)

I’m no psychic. But the minute I saw Andrew Bujalski’s sweet/geeky/playful/pointyheaded drama Computer Chess, I knew it would win the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, a cool-brainiac award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation that comes with a $20,000 huzzah for an independent film project that, in the words of the foundation press release, explores “science and technology themes or that depict scientists, engineers, and mathematicians in engaging and innovative ways.” I knew Computer Chess would win, first because most other films at Sundance this year explore relationships and sexytime themes rather than stories featuring scientists. And second because, in the guise of messing around with the limitations of PortaPak video aesthetics and technology circa 1980, Bujalski (the mumblecore pioneer who made Funny Ha Ha, Mutual Appreciation, and Beeswax) gets at something deep and true about the nature of scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and the young nerds of every generation who go on to invent the stuff that changes the lives of all the rest of us.

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Mumblecore: What is it good for?

The last time I came out of a movie written and directed by the 32-year-old Andrew Bujalski — it was Mutual Appreciation (2006), his lovely, if at times slightly precious, black-and-white followup to Funny Ha Ha (2005) — I thought to myself:

“Okay, fine, I respected, and enjoyed, that movie. Like Funny Ha Ha, it wins my props and my affection. Andrew Bujalski has a unique way of taking in the world — it may be a dithering, post-verbal, slacker-John Cassavetes-meets-The Mother and the Whore way of seeing it, but still it’s a vision. That said, I don’t really want his next movie to be like this. Two neorealist comedies in a row about post-bohemian twentysomethings in the Northeast fumbling their way toward love is enough. It’s time for Bujalski, the maestro of mumblecore, to try something different.” READ FULL STORY

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