Tuesday, March 16, 2010

SXSW 2010: Day One

I first became aware of filmmaking brothers Jay and Mark Duplass when I saw their feature The Puffy Chair at South by Southwest '05. The brothers are SXSW favorites, and though that may be partly because they're local talent (they went to film school at the University of Texas), it's not the main reason. Their funny, truthful character studies, which respect all their characters without putting any on a pedestal, fit right into the festival's laidback yet professional vibe.

In Cyrus, John C. Reilly plays John, a man whose new romance with what appears to be the perfect woman (Marisa Tomei) is threatened by her diabolically passive-aggressive son (Jonah Hill), who wants to keep her all to himself. The three are funny and touching, and the kind-eyed Catherine Keener is wonderfully wry, as always, as John's ex-wife, who's patiently weaning him from emotional dependence seven years after their divorce.

Cyrus is their first studio-funded movie, but the brothers were determined not to lose the intimate working style that has served them so well all these years. In a Q&A after the screening, Mark said their rule was to "treat every scene like a nude scene," allowing only essential personnel on the set in order to avoid crowding it with the extra crew that tend to dampen the creative spirit of multi-million-dollar movies.

Read the rest on Slant Magazine's blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment