Written & Directed by: Greta Gerwig and Joe Swanberg
So I just recently watched this movie. This was two days ago. I'd been searching through the Netflix "Instant Play" options and decided to do a search for The Duplass Brothers and in the results were
- The Puffy Chair
- Nights & Weekends
Almost immediately, with the opening shot of the film, you can tell what you're getting yourself into. It's clearly a very low budget movie with minimal camera work and an improvised script. Although there have been many instances in which I'll begin watching a movie like this and just instantly get fed up with it's unambitious nature, this was different.
It opens with Mattie and James, the film's protagonists fucking on the kitchen floor. Or rather preparing to bone. The camera is set in one position for the entire scene which lasts probably 5-7 minutes. And the scene doesn't actually portray any sex. They sloppily enter the kitchen, fall to the floor and spend these 5-7 minutes undressing each other. And it wasn't pretty, ya know. Articles of clothing don't come off as easy as movies usually depict. But with this, it felt so real. Like these two people are REALLY about to fuck. And from that point on I was hooked.
The film goes on and you soon realize that you're not in for a plot full of drama or really a plot at all. The film explores the difficulties of maintaining a long distance relationship. It's separated into two halves. The first half being a time when they were together all of the time. The second half depicting their relationship suffering from the long distance.
Say what you will. I understand this isn't a film that would generally receive very much enthusiasm, but I thought it was great. I felt that the two actors portrayed some of the more genuinely REAL performances I've seen in a long time. I believed that relationship. For a moment, I believed that these were actually people that some camera man was following around.
...and it really inspired me, ya know? I realized that, although the stuff I want to do will be slightly more plot driven, the most important thing I want to portray is real life. And this is a sentiment that is constantly thrown around by amateur filmmakers. People want to be "truthful" and "honest" in what they're portraying but that can come down to the truthful reaction Shia LaBeouf has when a robot is chasing him. When I say it however, I mean that I want to capture the moments that people live their lives for. The moments that make people nostalgic. Create scenarios where people can be totally and completely intrigued based not on just conflict necessarily but on a conversation, a mannerism or a look because it's just too real for them to look away.
And I really fucking hate when I get on these rants about where my convictions and passions lie because when I read it back to myself, I feel like I come off sounding like a douche.
But alas, I am who I am and I feel what I feel. And I felt more after watching this movie than I have felt doing anything in a long time.