Jay and Mark Duplass were two of the biggest names at the forefront of the Mumblecore movement in filmmaking that sprung up a half-decade or so ago. What is Mumblecore? Many critics of cinema would lead us to believe that it’s a new genre, one in which realism takes precedence over everything else. It utilizes unknown actors, it shoots in real locations, and the scripts are largely improvised. Personally, I just think young filmmakers like the Duplass brothers were too broke to make movies in any sort of traditional way, so they just started making them in their houses and with their friends. Any sort of genre labels or rumblings of an artistic movement came later when writers were trying to digest what they’d seen in movies like The Puffy Chair or Baghead. And that’s bound to happen. Critics, bloggers, and essay writers need to find things to talk about, so they come up with labels, they put things in categories. Is it a coincidence, then, that the new project being developed by two filmmakers whose careers were launched largely due to online and word of mouth buzz would be about the same writers who created their monster? Maybe, I don’t know.
That new film they’re shopping around is called Pitchfork. It’s about the mother of an indie rock star who goes looking for an online blogger who gave her son some particularly snarky write-ups, after the musician is killed in a car accident. The film is described as being a dark thriller, so presumably the mom might even have murder on her mind. Complications arise, however, when she tracks down the jerk writing the reviews and discovers that he is merely a teenager. This will be the third film about mothers and sons in a row for the Duplasses, as last year they made Cyrus, a film about an adult male (Jonah Hill) who still lives with and has an uncomfortably close relationship with his mother, and this year they are scheduled to follow it with Jeff Who Lives at Home, which is also a movie about an adult male who still lives with his mother (Susan Sarandon). Sarandon and Hill have been name dropped as being possible for the lead roles in Pitchfork as well, but at this early stage in development that’s probably no more than hearsay. What I’m interested in hearing about is if the popular music blog Pitchfork has actually signed off on having their name used for this film, and how comfortable they are with their writers being portrayed as clueless teenagers. They seem far too hip to let that one slide. [24 Frames]