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Baghead 

Directed by Jay and Mark Duplass (Sony)

The Duplass brothers (The Puffy Chair) have the distinction of making the first mumblecore film in which the timeline is definite: we know it will take place over a weekend, unlike predecessors Dance Party USA and Hannah Takes the Stairs, which drift aimlessly and seemingly endlessly toward neither progress nor resolution.

Baghead has a typical set-up: Catherine (Elise Muller) still carries a torch for Matt (Steve Zissis), who's got a thing for Michelle (Greta Gerwig), who likes him back but can't shake the puppy-like Chad (Ross Partridge). After seeing a terrible local film---actually a knowing wink at the genre itself---the four struggling actors are inspired to decamp to an isolated cabin for the weekend and write a movie for themselves. Drinking and awkward pauses ensue. Then Michelle sees a dude with a bag over his head lurking outside her window, and now we're in a Blair Witch Project/Friday the 13th mash-up.

As with all of these movies, there are a couple of good one-liners, a gratuitous boob shot, way too much hand-held camerawork and a resounding shrug at the end.

But they're getting somewhat closer to something that's about something.

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Vol 26, No 12
August 16, 2018

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