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Review: Joe Swanberg's Engaging, Truthful 'Happy Christmas' With Melanie Lynskey, Anna Kendrick & Mark Webber

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • July 24, 2014 12:05 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Happy Christmas
As perhaps the poster boy for independent cinema in the last seven to eight years, it’s crazy to realize that lo-fi filmmaker Joe Swanberg has never been in competition at the Sundance Film Festival before. While two of his films have played in Park City previously (though one was a short segment in “V/H/S”), Swanberg and his zeitgeist-defining mumblecore movement (read: indie filmmaking with a cute name and perhaps even lower budgets than audiences were used to at the time), were actually embraced by the SXSW Film Festival and not the indie-defining organizers in Utah.

Watch: First Trailer For ‘Happy Christmas’ Starring Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber & Lena Dunham

  • By Edward Davis
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  • May 20, 2014 3:21 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Happy Christmas
Don’t be fooled by the pristine-looking image above (hell, it’s “new” so we thought we’d use it). “Happy Christmas” is not the feel-good family comedy of the year. Hell, it’s not very shiny, slick and happy like that image would suggest. “Happy Christmas” is really a lo-fi, down and dirty family dramedy by filmmaker Joe Swanberg.

Anna Kendrick, Jake Johnson, Orlando Bloom, Sam Rockwell & More Join Joe Swanberg's New Film ‘Digging For Fire’

  • By Edward Davis
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  • April 30, 2014 5:35 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Drinking Buddies
For the uninitiated, indie filmmaker Joe Swanberg’s career kind of runs like this (reductively of course): 8 bazillion indies, about 10 a year, from 2005 to 2012 (ok, maybe more like 13 features in seven years with a bunch of shorts thrown in for good measure). They are… ok. But the SXSW Film Festival loves them, dubs them mumblecore and his positioned as the next great white hope for indie filmmaking. People like Noah Baumbach throw some endorsements (and exec-produce a film), but as the heir apparent of anything, well, buzz is always impractical anyhow.

The Ones To Watch: 20 Breakout Actors, Directors & Talents From The 2014 Sundance Film Festival

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • January 28, 2014 2:40 PM
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  • 2 Comments
2014 Breakout Talent From Sundance
Because we're usually far too busy for the partying and snowboarding, the highlights of the Sundance Film Festival are, of course, the movies themselves. But almost as pleasurable as the films, is discovering new voices and talent, and seeing for the first time the performers and filmmakers whose careers will grow and rise long after the locals have reclaimed Park City for another year.

Review: Joe Swanberg's Mumblecore Murder Mystery '24 Exposures'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • January 26, 2014 1:41 PM
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  • 2 Comments
24 Exposures
Last year, Joe Swanberg, the indie filmmaking titan and godfather of the so-called mumblecore movement, made a slight bid for the mainstream with “Drinking Buddies”—a more conventional romantic comedy that featured recognizable actors (like Olivia Wilde and Anna Kendrick) and a wide-ish release courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. But apparently the siren song of a shoestring budget, non-professional actors and a script that doesn’t concretely exist as much as it hangs in the air like a fine vapor was too much for Swanberg to resist. And so he’s back with “24 Exposures,” a typically Swanberg-ian take on a murder mystery that doesn’t exactly hang together as it goes flickering by.

Sundance Review: Joe Swanberg's 'Happy Christmas' Starring Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey & Lena Dunham

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • January 20, 2014 2:22 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Happy Christmas
As perhaps the poster boy for independent cinema in the last seven to eight years, it’s crazy to realize that lo-fi filmmaker Joe Swanberg has never been in competition at the Sundance Film Festival before. While two of his films have played in Park City previously (though one was a short segment in “V/H/S”), Swanberg and his zeitgeist-defining mumblecore movement (read: indie filmmaking with a cute name and perhaps even lower budgets than audiences were used to at the time), were actually embraced by the SXSW Film Festival and not the indie-defining organizers in Utah.

Watch: Sex & Murder Mix In Trailer For Joe Swanberg's '24 Exposures'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 20, 2013 12:22 PM
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  • 0 Comments
24 Exposures
Does Joe Swanberg sleep? Given his output in the last year or so, it's a legitimate question. With 2013 winding down, he's already delivered "Drinking Buddies" and "All The Lights In The Sky," and he's going to kick off 2014 with two more movies. There's "Happy Christmas," which is headed to the Sundance Film Festival, and later that month, "24 Exposures" will roll into theaters. Whatever he's putting in his coffee, we want it.

Sundance First Look: Kristen Stewart In 'Camp X-Ray' & Joe Swanberg's 'Happy Christmas' With Lena Dunham

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • December 4, 2013 4:25 PM
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  • 12 Comments
Camp X
And here we go... Along with first wave lineup announcement, comes a batch of new stills for movies hitting the Sundance Film Festival. So we'll be keeping this quick and to the point.

Watch: Trailer For Joe Swanberg's Latest Dramedy 'All The Light In The Sky'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 21, 2013 3:48 PM
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  • 0 Comments
All the Light in the Sky
You would think having worked with Michel Gondry, Todd Solondz, Jonathan Levine, Todd Field, Curtis Hanson, Robert Altman, Alan Rudolph, Paul Schrader and more, there might be a little more love out there for Jane Adams. And yet, the actress always seems severely underrated (she was pretty fantastic on the short-lived, equally underrated HBO series "Hung") and it looks like she's drawn on her Hollywood status (or lack of it) for "All The Light In The Sky," the latest effort from workaholic director Joe Swanberg.

First Look: Joe Swanberg's 'Drinking Buddies' Follow-Up 'All The Lights In The Sky'

All the Light in the Sky
Director Joe Swanberg graduated from the school of mumblecore to good ol’ indie filmmaker this year thanks to the very excellent “Drinking Buddies” (a movie we called one of the best movies of the year so far this past summer). What the hell does that mean? Well, it sort of means that Swanberg was just firing off film after film in his “mumble” days with varying degrees of quality, but perhaps working with accomplished actors instead of non-actors/newbs – Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, Jake Johnson, Ron Livingston – “Drinking Buddies” proved that his same approach and style (improvy, run and gun) can be better served with exceptional thesps behind the wheel. Where will he go next? Read More »

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