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February 08, 2009


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Dance Party USA is the best film about teenagers I've seen in a long time.
Team Picture was beautiful, funny and, unlike most of the other films that could categorized as "mumblecore," exceedingly specific.
I wish I could see Frownland but it's not exactly easy to find.


Truly glad, in the wake of the Swanbergpocalypse, to learn that you and I agree on Aaron Katz. The chatter of mumblecore is one thing (and as a parent of a pair of bright, moral youngtwentysomethings, I can attest to its verisimilitude). But Katz has an eye and a sense of rhythm and sensuality utterly lacking in any of his peers whose work I've seen. And I'm very eager to see how he develops as he evolves from the $2500 film (literally his two features have cost less than $5000 combined to make) to the, say, $750,000 film and beyond.

Joe Bowman

I would add as the "except as noted" for Team Picture the "epilogue" that's included on the DVD, which (I'm sure it's no coincidence) probably has something to do with you-know-who.


wow. some of you judge a movie based on the dvd extras? i have a tortured metaphor for that. but i think that's its own tortured metaphor.

Glenn Kenny

I understand your point, T.C., but by the same token, "Ginger Sand" is announced on the DVD packaging as an "epilogue" to "Team Picture," so one can't necessarily be blamed for taking that at its word, as it were...

Joe Bowman

Thanks, Glenn. I've been accused of worse things, but judging a film by its DVD extras is probably in the top 10.

Dave McDougall

what, no Funny Ha Ha?

Dave McDougall

also, not to be (too) pedantic, but an epilogue is generally considered a part of a given work, and not so much a mini-sequel.


The radical tonal shift between Team Picture and the epilogue is kind of a deal-breaker. Also, they were shot a year-and-a-half apart. I don't know if this helps anyone.

Glenn Kenny

This introduces the difficulty pertaining to whether we want to claim the epilogue as legitimate or not, and whether its specific properties reflect poorly on the original. Oy!

Dave McDougall

epilogues are a tricky business. (I haven't seen Team Picture or its epilogue). My rule is to include good epilogues as part of the work, and disregard epilogues that reflect negatively on the rest of the work (like, say, Crime and Punishment).

I've been trying to save my Swanberg/M-core thoughts for my 'defense' of Joe's work - which is likely to be pretty ambivalent - but it's worth noting that if you prefer Mutual Appreciation to Funny Ha Ha, then we're probably looking for different things in (some of) these films. [That said, so far I think Katz's work is the best of the 'bunch.' Aaron and I are friends, but my opinion of his work predates our friendship.]

Joe Bowman

I think "epilogues" can function however you want them to. In the case of Fanny and Alexander, the epilogue was part of the entire work. For Team Picture, the epilogue was filmed years afterward and added as a special feature on the DVD release. In the case of the latter, I'm really fine with whatever you choose to make of it; in my case, I just pretend like it never happened.


As it happens, I think I ended up inadvertently hosting the world premiere of Ginger Sand when Kentucker and Tim screened Team Picture here in April between appearances at IndieGrits and Atlanta FF. I believe it was made at least in part to round out the DVD release, but check with the Benten boys.


Sorry to jump in so late, but I'm still playing catch-up post Berlin.

Ginger Sand was not made specifically for the DVD. Kentucker shot this in Chicago (with Mr. Swanberg behind the camera) and offered it to us for the DVD. Is it a true epilogue? I don't know. I just find the piece amusing, particularly when you consider how Team Picture ends.

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