Baghead Jul 11, 2012 21:40:57 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Jul 11, 2012 21:40:57 GMT -5
A man who conceals his face with a bag over his head stalks a group of writers in Baghead.
I've stated before that I love to venture out of my comfort zone when it comes to film, and I believe everyone should as well. We can't simply conform to what mainstream Hollywood spoonfeeds us and forces us to see and believe, like American cinema is the best and only kind of cinema. We must challenge our tastes with films of different countries, by different directors, of different styles, and different mediums. I've been swimming in the sea of mumblecore recently, and have now reached my last stop in the Duplass brothers', Jay and Mark, filmography. That stop is Baghead and it was more like being kicked off from a good ride.
The brothers would later go on after this film to make what I call "mumblecore with actors," meaning the films are true to the roots and definition of mumblecore, but instead of utilizing amateur actors, they would recruit more well-known stars and challenge their abilities. Baghead is inept in almost every field of filmmaking and even at eighty minutes feels like an assault on patience and tolerance.
We get a story concerns two couples who, after attending a film festival hosted by a good friend, become inspired to go to a remote cabin in the wilderness, crossing their fingers that inspiration will dawn on them and they will be able to whip up something. Soon, they start seeing a man with a paper bag on his head outside, and begin penning a screenplay parallel to this. Then, the simple sights become more prolific until the man is visibly stalking them in their cabin.
The couples are Matt (Ross Partridge) and Michelle (Greta Gerwig), and Chad (Steve Zissis) and Catherine (Elise Muller). Along the way, convoluted love interests start to form between the two couples and I will spare you the details because it would become a chore on my part and you, the reader, to read about it. It becomes something like Matt likes Catherine but is too afraid to ask her out, and Chad has liked Michelle for a while, etc. These characters are so stock and faceless that it's hard to even make out who is who at times. Assuming you're even interested.
At this point in time, the mumblecore movement in cinema was still forming and, while the movement is more ideal for whimsical comedies and light-hearted dramas, nobody ever said a horror film couldn't be constructed following the rules of the genre. Unfortunately, crossbreeding the genres resulted in an unsuccessful film. No atmosphere is created, no believability or interest is structured, and the dialog for the film, which, by the brothers, is the part that is usually taken very seriously, is taken in a haphazard, disorganized manner, with only fragmented screams and vague arguments brewing. It's a complete mess.
Baghead concludes on a cheap, indie note, but before that, we have a truly unbelievable twist that isn't even examined or further developed. I conclude by saying it was a smart move on the brothers' part to try and nudge the genre into the limelight by having popular actors in the roles of amateurs. The acting here is yet another problem in this parody (?), satire (?), homage (?) of errors.
Starring: Ross Partridge, Steve Zissis, Greta Gerwig, and Elise Muller. Directed by: Jay and Mark Duplass.