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From Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms

Mumblecore films

  • Low-budget independent fiction films that feature personal relationships of young adults with realistic scenes, naturalistic acting and dialogue, and minimal action.
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  • Form

    • Mumblecore films
  • Broader Terms

  • Sources

    • found: Work cat.: Beeswax, 2010: credits (writer, director, editor, Andrew Bujalski)
    • found: Wikipedia, Feb. 7, 2017 (Beeswax is a 2009 American mumblecore film written and directed by Andrew Bujalski. The film examines a few days in the life of twins, played by real-life sisters Tilly and Maggie Hatcher)
    • found: Mercer, B. 'Beeswax': a mumblecore movie at its finest, in The Atlantic, Apr. 9, 2010, viewed online Feb. 7, 2017 (The "mumblecore" label--used to describe crude-looking improvisation--and hesitation-heavy American independent productions populated almost exclusively by underemployed white creative types--has been applied so often to the films of Andrew Bujalski that it's become all too easy to forget what makes them exceptional; takes as its primary concern something more substantial than just a painstaking naturalism: the uncomfortable intermingling of personal matters with business concerns)
    • found: Horton, R. 'Beeswax': a fine example of 'mumblecore' genre, via HeraldNet website, Oct. 30, 2009, viewed on Feb. 7, 2017 (mumblecore films; low-budget indie film; not so much a story as a situation, a milieu, and some characters)
    • found: Renninger, B.J. Bujalski's "Beeswax" makes people say "mumblecore", via IndieWire website, Aug. 6, 2009, viewed on Feb. 7, 2017 (To quote David Denby's New Yorker explanation of the genre, "Mumblecore movies are made by buddies, casual and serious lovers, and networks of friends, and they're about college-educated men and women who aren't driven by ideas or by passions or even by a desire to make their way in the world. Neither rebels nor bohemians, they remain stuck in a limbo of semi-genteel, moderately hip poverty, though some of the films end with a lurch into the working world. The actors (almost always nonprofessionals) rarely say what they mean; a lot of the time, they don't know what they mean. The movies tell stories but they're also a kind of lyrical documentary of American stasis and inarticulateness")
    • found: Merriam-Webster dictionary online, Feb. 7, 2017 (mumblecore: a genre of narrative film focusing primarily on the intimate lives of young characters and featuring scenes of ample dialogue and minimal action)
    • found:, Feb. 7, 2017 (mumblecore: a genre of low-budget movie using nonprofessionals to depict mundane postcollege or early adult existence; in filmmaking, a genre of very low-budget productions focused on personal relationships and daily life)
    • found: Wikipedia, Feb. 7, 2017 (Mumblecore is a subgenre of independent film characterized by naturalistic acting and dialogue (often improvised), low-budget film production, an emphasis on dialogue over plot, and a focus on the personal relationships of people in their 20s and 30s; Naturalism--both in performance and dialogue--is a key feature of almost all mumblecore films)
    • found: 10 essential mumblecore films, via WhatCulture website, Feb. 7, 2017 (Mumblecore has a few focuses; first is that they aim to tell small human stories about unique characters with an emphasis on realism. In order to achieve that realism, they need natural dialogue; in some cases, then, the dialogue is ad-libbed. At times, there is so much improvisation that the actors get writing credits)
  • General Notes

    • Low-budget independent fiction films that feature personal relationships of young adults with realistic scenes, naturalistic acting and dialogue, and minimal action.
  • Change Notes

    • 2017-02-08: new
    • 2017-05-15: revised
  • Alternate Formats

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