The unique film subgenre that shot Lena Dunham (HBO’s Girls) to fame is the genus of new Australian indie feature, Pretty Good Friends, screening at Melbourne’s Testing Grounds this Friday 6 February.
The term ‘mumblecore’ was first coined in 2005, at America’s South by Southwest Film Festival. It is classified by low budgets, unpolished, ‘real’ sounding dialogue, real places (not studios or sound stages) and a departure from simplistic plot structures common to movies designed for mass appeal. The only region outside the USA to document the movement thus far is Berlin, which began making its own mumblecore films in 2009.
Emerging writer and director Sophie Townsend (Amalume Productions) was inspired to create a Melbourne mumblecore film using a small cast and crew and an even smaller budget.
“I wanted to create a story that captured Melbourne on screen in a way I had not seen before, utilising some of it’s less explored nooks and crannies,” says Sophie.
“We wanted our actors to have a major input in creating their characters. We encouraging improvised dialogue and blocking, and even sought their input in costume design.”
The film tells the story of Jules Thompson (Jenni Townsend), who moves home to Melbourne with the hopes of re-inventing herself in time for her 25th birthday. She moves in with her childhood friend, Sam Johansson (Rain Fuller), and they soon discover something isn’t quite right between them. Juggling the awkwardness of a stale relationship whilst an exciting new one emerges tests the boundaries of friendship and puts Jules in a dangerous position.
A combination of comedy, romance and drama, Pretty Good Friends examines the highs and lows of relationships and how human connection can inspire and ignite unknown truths within ourselves, for better or worse.
Jenni Townsend is writer-director-actor of her own feature film The Pull, shot in Glasgow, Scotland. Rain Fuller has starred in a feature film shot on the banks of the Ganges River in India, as well as co-starring in two other Australian indie features last year.
Pretty Good Friends will screen at Testing Grounds, a temporary and free outdoor art space purposed to experiment and test ideas, in the heart of Melbourne’s arts precinct.
The Melbourne made film will make it’s American debut later this month at Florida’s Starlite Film Festival, an innovative festival that celebrates micro-budget features.
Time: screening begins at 8:30pm sharp
Date: Friday 6 February
Where: 1-23 City Road, Melbourne
Bookings: not required. FREE.
Director and cast will be present at the screening and available for interview.