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USA, 2004 (MIFF 2006, International Panorama)

Director: Andrew Bujalski

Shot in 16mm, FUNNY HA HA examines life after college in an understated and moving way. Written, directed, and co-starring indie darling Andrew Bujalski (Mutual Appreciation, MIFF 06), the film features impressively natural performances led by newcomer Kate Dollenmayer, whose commanding yet familiar presence may lead viewers to feel she's someone they've known for years.

Focusing more on character than on plot, the film revolves loosely around Marnie (Dollenmayer), an attractive and intelligent young woman searching clumsily for some sense of purpose in what seems at times like an aimlesslife. Nearing 24 and recently unemployed, Marnie spends her days hanging out with friends she knew in college, trying out unsatisfying temp positions, and pining after an unavailable and unwilling love interest.

Bujalski's script and the seemingly improvisational performances of his cast capture the pains, joys, and frustrations of everyday life. Like Marnie, FUNNY HA HA is consumed not so much by an outward angst, but rather the reluctantly accepted reality that life is not perfect. In exploring thethemes of Marnie's life, it artfully shows that people aren't always good orbad, things aren't always black and white, boundaries are easily blurred,and timing is often off. The world of the film is one that many viewersshould recognize--one in which tragedy, humor, sadness, and happiness allcoexist.

"A beautifully observant and wholly unpretentious film with roots more inCassavetes than Sundance-style showbiz." - Variety

“This isn't improvisation, but rather an adroitly achieved randomness — the perfect syntax for a generation-defining work about a generation marked byits very lack of definition.” - Scott Foundas, LA Weekly


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