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April 29, 1977 |
|Occupation||film director, screenwriter, actor|
|Years active||2002 – present|
Bujalski, born in Boston in 1977, is the son of an artist-turned-businesswoman, Sheila Dubman, and a businessman, Edmund Bujalski. Andrew studied film at Harvard's Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, where the Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman was his thesis advisor.
He shot his first feature, Funny Ha Ha, in 2002, and followed it with Mutual Appreciation in 2003 – though neither film received theatrical distribution until 2005 and 2006, respectively. Bujalski wrote both screenplays, and appears as an actor, playing a major role in both films. In 2006, he appeared as an actor and contributed to the screenplay of the Joe Swanberg film Hannah Takes the Stairs.
Beeswax and Computer Chess, Bujalski's third and fourth independent films, were filmed in Austin, where the director lives now. Beeswax was released in the summer of 2009. While making Beeswax, Bujalski wrote a screenplay adaptation of Benjamin Kunkel's 2005 novel Indecision for Paramount Pictures.
His fourth feature Computer Chess, a period film set at a computer programming tournament in 1980, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2013 and won the Alfred Sloan Feature Film Prize. It is his first feature edited digitally and it is the only feature film shot almost exclusively with original Sony 1968 AVC-3260 B&W video cameras.
Style and content
Bujalski's rough-edged, realistic films are often compared to the works of directors John Cassavetes, Maurice Pialat and Mike Leigh. All of his feature films were photographed by Austrian cinematographer Matthias Grunsky. The first three are shot on hand-held 16mm, have a sometimes decidedly "lo-fi" feel (reinforced by Funny Ha Ha's distorted mono sound), and are often included in the mumblecore movement. The actors who appear in these films are non-professionals, many drawn from other media, including animator Kate Dollenmayer as the lead in Funny Ha Ha, musician Justin Rice as the lead in Mutual Appreciation and experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison in a supporting role in the same film. Funny Ha Ha featured a cast and crew of Harvard grads.
Though his films often appear improvised, they are for the most part scripted; the dialogue is often noted for its drawn-out, awkward nature, and characters frequently evade key topics. Many of the films seem to start and end in medias res, giving the films a "slice of life" feeling that suggests a larger narrative or world that the audience is looking in on.
The characters in Bujalski's films are mostly post-collegiate and middle-class; many work white collar jobs. The desire for stability is a recurring theme, and many characters rush headlong into attempts at a more controlled existence – this is exemplified by one of the main characters in Funny Ha Ha, who elopes with his ex-girlfriend.
As director, writer, and editor
|2002||Funny Ha Ha||Feature film||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2005||Mutual Appreciation||Feature film||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2007||Peoples House||Short film||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2013||Computer Chess||Feature film||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2002||Funny Ha Ha||Mitchell|
|2007||Hannah Takes the Stairs||Paul|
|2008||Cubby Knowles||DJ Whoops|
|2008||RSO (Registered Sex Offender)||Reggie|
- Alfred Sloan Feature Film Prize, 2013 - Sundance Film Festival
- Best Director, 2005 - Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival
- Best Screenplay, 2005 - Newport International Film Festival
- Someone to Watch Spirit Award, 2004 - IFP
- Boogie, Brendan (pseudonym) (2005-04-29). "Scamper - Brendan's Journal" (Blog). Archived from the original on 17 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-12.
Yet another happy birthday to my friend Andrew Bujalski, the mind and talent behind the films Funny Ha Ha and Mutual Appreciation...
- "'Mumblecore' and the indie-rock analogy" by Glenn Kenny. August 24, 2007
- "Half-Baked." New York Magazine.
- "Bumblebee Mumble" by V.A. Musetto. New York Post, August 12, 2009
- Longworth, Karina. 10 Movies We're Excited About in 2012. LA Weekly.
- Andrew Bujalski's Next Project: Computer Chess
- 2013 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize
- Grunsky, Matthias. "Computer Chess": a more detailed look at the tube camera
- "The Andrew Bujalski Collection". Harvard Film Archive. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- Andrew Bujalski at the Internet Movie Database
- Funny Ha Ha Official Site
- Mutual Appreciation Official Site
- Beeswax Official Site
- Computer Chess Official Site
- "Young Intellectuals Making Movies", essay on Andrew Bujalski and Noah Baumbach in Dissent, Summer 2006.
- Video Interview Berlinale 2009 Cargo Film Magazine
- Don't Say "Mumblecore" to Bujalski, article and video, Sept 17, 2009
- Andrew Bujalski performs and is interviewed on Radio Happy Hour
- A conversation with Andrew Bujalski on The Marketplace of Ideas
- In Conversation: Straight Talk: Andrew Bujalski, In Conversation with Paul Felten, The Brooklyn Rail