#132 - In Your Face
Almost all of Andrew Bujalski's films, Mutual Appreciation and Funny Ha Ha, take place on faces. Close-up shots, cramped city apartments, very few wide pans -- these do not make for the stifling claustrophobia you might think they would, but rather open up an expansive landscape of muscle, skin, glorious cheek bones, the shadow of haircuts, wrinkled noses, pursed lips, furrowed brows.
A friend made the point that the films are not driven by plot or even by character, but by relationships: the subtle operations that occur between two or more characters as they navigate scenarios of late adolescence and early adulthood.
Nothing really happens except on those faces, whose smallest shifts and changes register as seismically as the biggest bang-up action flick.
20 December 2006