Comments on watching and making films.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Uncle Kent

I have a feeling that, one day, Joe Swanberg's work is going to be studied and written about. Not particularly because it's great work, but because of the way he seems to primarily focus on taking real life, fictionalizing it, and then trying to pass it off as real life again, which could make for some interesting research papers.

Uncle Kent stars Swanberg friend, and collaborator, Kent Osborne as a 40-something year old, single animator living in Los Angeles, which is, basically, what he is. We follow Kent through his daily life, which includes hanging out with friends, smoking weed, and work, until he meets up with a girl he met on Chat Roulette, who flies out to LA for some meetings. Things get complicated because she's not interested in being sexual with him (which he wants), but she does want to, essentially, act like they are going out. It gets really odd when they decide to take place in a "fantasy fulfillment" off of Craigslist.

There's never much you can comment with on a Swanberg film. People don't tend to act, but simply be themselves (but with talking points). I'm not sure how much any of his films are really scripted (sans, maybe, Hanna), so I always hesitate to comment on the writing. The majority of the time, with a Swanberg film, I find myself simply saying I either like it, or I don't. I liked Uncle Kent. I thought it was an interesting film about having gotten exactly what you wanted, but not particularly being pleased with it, and about being as lost in your early forties as you may have been in your early twenties. Uncle Kent ranks up there with LOL on the list of Swanberg films that are worth a watch, but will probably never be much more than that.

No comments: