Bujalski Fans of the World Unite

by clarencecarter
November 14, 2006 9:35 AM
4 Comments
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dance_party_usa-1.jpg
Or something...you, uh, want some bread?

Opening up tomorrow for a limited engagement at the Pioneer Theatre is a little movie called Dance Party, USA that’s fresh off a run that’s taken it to a bunch of festivals including SXSW and Woodstock. Barely feature-length, and, at times, barely a movie, Aaron Katz’s DV-shot debut somehow manages to hang onto itself across its 66 minutes—when it was over I was nearly in shock that a movie made for something on the order of $5 and with a splintery narrative built around a few very long scenes felt like it had a definitive beginning, middle, and end.

Mostly composed of dead air and awkward post-party exchanges, Dance Party, USA definitely treads Bujalski turf, though may actually trump the Funny Ha Ha director in a run for studied inarticulacy. It’s also a bit darker—as it relates the coupling off of teenaged ladies’ man Gus (Cole Pennsinger) and malcontent Jessica (Ann Kavin), it takes a fairly odd left turn that illuminates a kind of weary malaise that runs through the loose group in the film. Though the stylistic similarities to Bujalski are there to be discussed (Katz does break off from his characters on occasion to catch a little bit of lovely Portland unawares), his final moments recall Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch Drunk Love albeit in miniature. From this description, you’ll probably know immediately if this is for you, so here goes:

Dance Party, USA
Opens Wednesday November, 15th at the Two Boots Pioneer Theater
Located in the East Village at 155 East 3rd Street (Between Ave. A & B)
Plays at 9pm Nightly Through the 21st
Additional Shows at 7:15pm on the 22nd, 24th, 26th, & 27th
Q&As Will Follow All Shows

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4 Comments

  • seanmcavoy | November 15, 2006 9:59 AMReply

    If I could do it again I'd add a playful ;)

  • robbiefreeling | November 15, 2006 9:47 AMReply

    Sean McAvoy's the meanest of all RS commenters. Consistently.

    Love you, Sean.

  • clarencecarter | November 15, 2006 5:40 AMReply

    never met the guy, honestly. for another fairly positive RS-take on it, see Jeanette Catsoulis in the NY Times...

    this thing isn't the second coming by any means, but there's something to it I can't quite pinpoint. by that token, the hour I spent with it was pretty worthwile.

  • seanmcavoy | November 15, 2006 2:22 AMReply

    So how long have you been friends with Aaron Katz?