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Tiny Furniture

Has anyone seen this movie? I think its a "love it or hate it" movie. I liked it. It's very refreshing to see a movie star who's just an average-looking chick. Streaming on Netflix.
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John Walkenbach's profile photoPhillip Cairns's profile photoCurtis Wenzel's profile photoRyan States's profile photo
39 comments
 
I remember hearing good things when it was at SXSW
 
I did not care for the show Girls, also run by Lena Dunham, but I have no patience for shows about over-privileged twenty-somethings whining about their parents not paying their bills while they live in the most expensive city in the world :)
 
Ha! I happened to watch the first episode of Girls (and I don't remember why). That's where I learned about Lena Dunham and her movie.I just thought it was interesting and unusual.
 
I will probably see the movie now too. Im weird that way.
 
The trailer reminds me of Miranda July's two flicks, sort of, but with a different setting. I'll check it out.
 
I loved Miranda July's first movie, but the second one sounded as if it would depress the hell out of me.
 
I haven't seen that second one yet. I should do that.
 
Miranda July's 2nd movie, "The Future," isn't full of sunshine and lollipops, but it's not depressing. It's not on the same level of near greatness as her first movie, but it has similar sensibilities (a bit surreal) and it's still about 100 times more interesting than most movies that come to my local multiplex.
 
Ah, but we all have different triggers for what we find depressing.
 
I sure don't need sunshine and lollipops. I'm a fan of Lars Von Trier. But I don't really want to spend a few hours contemplating how long five years is as the maximum lifespan of a sick cat, or watching two people fail to accomplish anything for no particularly good reason. These are two things I would find intolerably depressing. Not that they would be to everyone or even most people, just that they are for me.
 
"The Future" is partially narrated by the sick cat. It's a slow, surreal, thoughtful movie, but not depressingly realistic or oppressive. It's quirky and interesting. Can't say much else about it.
 
I had to give up on "Tiny Furniture" around the 60 minute mark. I didn't pull the plug after the first 25 minutes only because the person I was watching it with seemed to enjoy it. (She's still watching it as I write this.) I didn't hate it, but the characters, their conversations, the storyline, did nothing for me. It felt like a movie written by a 20-something with no life experience, no insights, not much to offer. I pushed the pause button, passed over the remote and said, "I have no interest in this movie. I'm going to bed."

The trailer for "Tiny Furniture" reminded me of Miranda July's movies, but it's not even close. Any 5 minutes of a Miranda July movie has more going on, more substance, more to think about it, than the first 60 minutes of "Tiny Furniture." That's my take on it anyway. Maybe it got better after the first 60 minutes.

The movie didn't do anything for me because -- I don't know. Maybe it was trying too hard and came off as pretentious, or empty. It's not a horrible movie, but it doesn't seem to be anything special either.
 
+Phillip Cairns is wrong. Tiny Furniture is very good. I think "life experience" is over-rated (at least in my experience). She's funny & smart & I appreciate the POV since it is both completely outside my experience, yet all around me in a neighborhood with three expensive private colleges. I love all the unseemly (i.e. honest) sex going on in Lena Dunham's work. Hers is an original voice.

Girls is not to be missed. I wonder what women think of it.
 
I'm not wrong in not caring for the movie. It doesn't seem like a particularly shallow or original movie. Give the director another kick at the can and she'll probably do alright. "Tiny Furniture" isn't inept. It just didn't do anything for me. The first 60 minutes didn't, anyway.
 
+Phillip Cairns - You're right. You're not wrong when you say it doesn't interest you (that's just stating a taste preference). Where you go wrong is when you attempt to justify your lack of interest:

"It felt like a movie written by a 20-something with no life experience, no insights, not much to offer."

Clearly wrong.

The film is filled with closely observed details from family life, the mechanics of an archetypical mother/daughter/sister conflict and a young woman's vulnerable early sexual experiences freighted with a certain degradation that suggests a broader and still all-to-common sexism afoot in post feminist Western society.

And it's funny.

To consider such an expression to be lacking in originality is wrong.
 
Wrong again. To consider anything isn't definitive. Therefore, it can't be wrong. I didn't make any definitive statements. I watched the first hour of "Tiny Furniture" and didn't react to any of it on any level. It may be original (which I doubt, because what hasn't been done before?), but it didn't seem fresh or original to me, possibly because I've met people like the characters in the movie, and they bore me. I didn't analyse the movie further than that because I was not engaged by it.
 
It's dull because you've met people like that before and they bore you? Cliche alert. As in, familiarity breeds contempt.

It may be original (which I doubt, because what hasn't been done before?)

Examples?
 
Actually, everyone is wrong. Just wrong and stupid and bad. We should be ashamed, and feel shame, and stop using the internets.
 
shame, blame, defame - the internets trifecta
 
Familiarly breeds contempt? How about I just didn't like the movie and I can't be bothered explaining away every minute detail of what I didn't care for in it? Do I look like Armond White all of a sudden? WTF? I didn't even finish watching the movie.

Now did anyone catch the latest episode of "Mad Men?" That show is on fire.
 
I'm not asking for you to explain your dislike of the film you didn't finish watching; I'm asking you to not insist your lack of interest is because there is something amiss in the filmmaking or in the filmmaker's privileged origins. I understand you found it dull and that's dandy with me.

Latest episode of Mad Men was pretty good (especially all the nasty stuff with the Drapers), but I AM NOT looking forward to Roger's upcoming wearing of a Nehru suit and funky medallion. I also thought the altered state depiction was hilariously inept, but it did give me sixties nostalgia for similar attempts on Dragnet.

My favorite things are the women - all so interesting, Peggy (great), Joan (great), new Mrs Draper (great), Draper daughter (great), nasty step-grandma (great).
 
The thing is, Curtis, that the privilege is part of the problem for, it seems, his enjoyment and mine. I don't think that what we need is more ranting by spoiled people about their "terrible" lives. I'm not seeing anything new or interesting being said, and I'm not seeing any real craft in it.

I think that her work is interesting in one respect. Most people would feel some need to be apologetic or winking at their own atrocious sense of entitlement.
 
Curtis, man, you're hearing words I didn't say. I don't know anything about the filmmaker's origins and I didn't insist on anything. I gave my subjective impressions of my incomplete viewing of the film. That's it.

As for "Mad Men," for me, that show is all about the women.
 
+Ryan States - I saw no ranting at all in Girls and I DO think it's quite a pickle to be a child of privilege caught in the trap of internship at significant arts and communications institutions (like the New Yorker or NPR or a large publishing house) in a major American cultural center and therefore to remain dependent on your family who essentially are supporting your indentured servitude to such high-falutin' outfits. These organizations depend on privileged families for a ready supply of energetic, unpaid, well-educated and well-connected workers who will then support those institutions financially once they receive their trust funds which also keep them in an immature state of suspended animation. Isn't that quite an onus to overcome? I'm not saying one should feel sorry for these characters, but it is a rather unique, specific and quite interesting form of existential angst, certainly worth using as fuel for humor and art.
 
1) Sure, if done in a way that wasn't just puling and whining maybe.
2) It's not new. People have written about the problems of the privileged classes since forever, in ways that show there are genuine things to be overcome. Girls is about a pack of spoiled brats who should die in a fire, or be eaten by the poor.
 
in ways that show there are genuine things to be overcome

But did Emma Bovary ever have to overcome being anally penetrated by a self-absorbed chinless prick with a hand-me-down Knoll couch?

See, that's the originality piece. As is the very particular social milieu that informs the writing, directing, acting and show-running, which BTW, is also unusual on television and very like what Louis CK is doing. These are television auteurs and they are highly original. It's art. On TV.
 
I think we'll agree to disagree. Comparing Girls to Louie strikes me as comparing Velveeta to Stilton.
 
I'm comparing them in only the TV auteur aspect. Louie is a work of considerable genius. I think he is the American Fellini.
 
Well, on THIS we completely agree. I haven't seen anything like it anywhere. It moves me. TV rarely, if ever does this.
 
I went to the Comcast streaming site to check for Louie. They have about 50 videos! But none is more than 3 minutes long. What's up with that? Who wants to watch tiny clips and previews?
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