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Mainstream - Baghead - Independent Film / Mumblecore

CLICK PIC FOR BAGHEAD AT AMAZON
Click pic for Baghead at Amazon

Baghead
Ross Partridge, Steve Zissis, Greta Gerwig, Elise Muller
Written and directed by Jay and Mark Duplass
Sony Pictures Classics 2008
81 minutes

The cover for the Baghead DVD shows how a viewer might feel about this independent film. Though this DVD features the usual indie movie flaws, this mumblecore film is entertaining but not great. If you are not a mumblecore or independent film fan however, Baghead is just a cool title.

Why is the premise of a lot of indie movies “unemployed actors decide to make an indie movie”? This applies to Baghead but also to a lot of other independent films out there such as Searching For Bobby D (dreadful) or Dr, Ravi and Mr. Hyde (pretty cool). 

Four actor friends go to an isolated cabin to write a script for a movie they want to make themselves. It takes a while, and some of those scenes with dialogue that is supposed to sound realistic but is really too banal to be so, but they decide to make a horror movie about Baghead. Eventually but not eventually enough reality and film start to mix.

Baghead has all the characteristics of your usual indie movie. There are very good scenes and awkward, pointless moments; there are some beautifully filmed scenes followed by other that are much less so, there are some absolutely pointless spin-our-wheels scenes (such as the swimming in the lake scene); there are atrocious, overdone bits like the confrontation between Matt and Chad; and actors who seem to be playing themselves with more or less conviction.

A 3-week shooting schedule, 50 thousand dollars, a somewhat incoherent script makes for a DVD marketed as a parody of low-budget horror movies. The 3-week schedule and the money are obvious, I failed to see the parody.

Then again, I failed to see the movie here.

Richard Lanoie

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