By Matt Singer | Criticwire March 29, 2012 at 9:10AM
More and more films premiere on Video on Demand -- if they don't simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we're looking at "Open Five," the latest film from director/actor Kentucker Audley, who people used to describe as a mumblecore filmmaker back when people were still described as mumblecore filmmakers. Now I don't know what to call him. Let's just give him his own subgenre: kentuckercore. We'll write the New York Times thinkpiece about it later.
Director: Kentucker Audley
Cast: Jake Rabinbach, Shannon Esper, Kentucker Audley, Genevieve Angelson
Official Synopsis: "Open Five" isn't really an "official synopsis" kind of movie, but here's how Richard Brody described the film in The New Yorker: "During a brief stay in Brooklyn, Jake (Rabinbach), a young Memphis musician (and native New Yorker), connects with Lucy (Esper), a young actress he persuades to come down South and pay him a visit. She arrives with her friend Rose (Angelson), also an actress, who promptly pairs up with his friend Kentucker (Audley), a struggling independent filmmaker. The plaiting of fiction and personal documentary... lends extra poignancy and self-deprecation to the low-key romantic agonies and financial struggles of ambitious yet uncertain bohemians."
"Audley’s movie has the feeling of sketches from life -- a wealth of emotion and experience emerge both from its brisk lines and from its white spaces."
"This tale of two fleeting romances, made and unmade over a weekend, is at least as disarming for what it sees as for what its characters say (or don't say)."
"The strength of the film is that director Audley, together with lenser Joe Swanberg (a venerable mumblecore helmer himself), poses the conundrum [about committment] less through dialogue than in purely visual terms."
"May be notable mainly for shifting the landscape of aimless, youthful contemplation from the city to the countryside, but its record of the ambivalent desires and drifting ambitions of a group of friends is artful enough to be touching as well as vague."
"More of a question than a movie, that question being 'Should we, like, make a movie?'"