Swanberg in 2014
August 31, 1981
|Occupation||Actor, film director, TV producer, screenwriter|
|Easy (TV series) |
(m. 2007; div. 2019)
Joseph Swanberg (born August 31, 1981) is an American independent film director, producer, writer, and actor. Known for micro-budget films which make extensive use of improvisation, Swanberg is considered a major figure in the mumblecore film movement. His films often focus on relationships, sex, technology, and the filmmaking process, and he is credited with launching the careers of Lena Dunham, Greta Gerwig, and The Duplass Brothers.
Swanberg was born in Detroit, Michigan, and was raised in Georgia and Alabama. He graduated from Naperville Central High School in suburban Chicago and attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale as a film major, earning a bachelor's degree in 2003.
In 2005, Swanberg directed his first feature film, Kissing on the Mouth, for a modest budget. He followed it with LOL (2006), which marked Swanberg's first time working with actress Greta Gerwig. Gerwig and Swanberg collaborated on the director's next two features: Hannah Takes the Stairs (2007), which also starred filmmakers Andrew Bujalski, Ry Russo-Young, and Mark Duplass and marked Swanberg's first collaboration with animator and actor Kent Osborne; and Nights and Weekends (2008), on which Gerwig shared a directing credit. Swanberg's next feature, Alexander the Last, was produced by Noah Baumbach, who would later cast Gerwig opposite Ben Stiller in his 2010 film Greenberg.
After spending all of 2009 working on Silver Bullets, Swanberg finished seven features in 2010: Uncle Kent, Caitlin Plays Herself, The Zone, Art History, Silver Bullets, Privacy Setting and Autoerotic (co-directed with horror filmmaker Adam Wingard). Uncle Kent premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011 and Silver Bullets and Art History premiered at the Berlinale in February. The rest of the 2010 films premiered theatrically in 2011 after screenings at film festivals. Four of these were later included in Joe Swanberg: Collected Films 2011, a DVD boxed set from the music and video label Factory 25.
In 2012 Swanberg wrote and directed the film Drinking Buddies, starring Olivia Wilde, Jake M. Johnson, Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston. The film was produced by Alicia Van Couvering and Andrea Roa and shot by Beasts of the Southern Wild cinematographer Ben Richardson. The film was acquired by Magnolia Pictures shortly after its SXSW premiere.
The following year Swanberg shot Happy Christmas, starring himself, Melanie Lynskey, Lena Dunham, and Anna Kendrick from Drinking Buddies. This was the first of his films to be shot on 16mm film, rather than digital. The film premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
Swanberg wrote, directed, and produced Easy, an anthology series for Netflix. The series premiered in 2016 and ran for three seasons ending in 2019. Easy featured many of Swanberg's frequent collaborators from his films including Jake Johnson, Joe Lo Truglio, and Nicky Excitement.
In 2017, Swanberg and Jake Johnson co-wrote Win it All. Jake Johnson stars alongside Aislinn Derbez, Joe Lo Truglio and Keegan-Michael Key.The film had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 11, 2017. It was released on April 7, 2017, by Netflix.
As director, producer, and writer
|2020||Build the Wall||Feature film||Yes||Yes|
|2020||The Rental||Feature film||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|2017||Win It All||Feature film||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|2016||Love (Episode: "Andy")||TV series||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|2015||Digging for Fire||Feature film||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Queen of Earth||Feature film||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|2014||Happy Christmas||Feature film||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|2013||24 Exposures||Feature film||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Drinking Buddies||Feature film||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|All the Light in the Sky||Feature film||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2012||Marriage Material||Feature film||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|V/H/S (Segment: "The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger")||Feature film||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|2011||Caitlin Plays Herself||Feature film||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|The Zone||Feature film||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Art History||Feature film||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Silver Bullets||Feature film||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Uncle Kent||Feature film||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2009||Alexander the Last||Feature film||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2008||Nights and Weekends||Feature film||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Swedish Blueballs||Short film||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2007||Hannah Takes the Stairs||Feature film||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2005||Kissing on the Mouth||Feature film||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2018||Nobody Likes You as Much as I Do (short)||Pauly|
|2017||XX (segment "The Birthday Party")||Singing Panda|
|Bloomin Mud Shuffle||Brock|
|Uncle Kent 2||Joe|
|2014||Journeyman (short)||Jake Hopkins|
|Empire Builder||The Husband|
|Thou Wast Mild and Lovely||Akin|
|You're Next||Drake Davison|
|Drinking Buddies||Angry Car Guy|
|V/H/S (Segment: "Second Honeymoon")||Sam|
|The Kings of Yorktown||Bartender|
|2011||Caitlin Plays Herself||Joe|
|2010||Audrey the Trainwreck||Jeremy Roth|
|Blackmail Boys||Andrew Kenneth Tucker|
|A Horrible Way to Die||Kevin|
|Everyone Says I Look Just Like Her||Brandon|
|2009||The Mountain, the River and the Road||Tom|
|Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever||Hazmat Team|
|You Wont Miss Me|
|Nights and Weekends||James|
|Present Company||Archibald King|
|Untied Strangers (short)||Wes|
|2007||The Timebox Twins (short)||Boy|
|2006||Young American Bodies (TV series)||Ben|
|2005||Hissy Fits (short)|
|Kissing on the Mouth||Patrick|
- Allen, Nick (March 16, 2020). "Without SXSW, Kris Rey Looks for a Home for Her Film". Chicago. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
- Brody, Richard. "The Front Row: Joe Swanberg in Berlin". The New Yorker.
- Kramer, Gary. Interview: Joe Swanberg. Slant.
- Trachta, Ali. Interview: Filmmaker Joe Swanberg. Archived 2012-01-31 at the Wayback Machine Chicagoist.
- Denby, David. Uncle Kent. The New Yorker.
- Brody, Richard. The Front Row: "Silver Bullets" Tonight. The New Yorker.
- "I don't need a man. I would have done all this anyway". The Guardian.
- Zwicker, Bill (August 19, 2013). "Joe Swanberg tapped his Chicago smarts for 'Drinking Buddies". Chicago-Sun Times. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
Though born in Detroit, Swanberg has lived “in Illinois since just before high school.” A high school buddy in Naperville...
- "Joe Swanberg: Collected Films 2011". Factorytwentyfive.com. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
- 4:3 Happy Christmas: An Interview with Writer/Director Joe Swanberg. 4:3
- "Sundance.org". Sundance.org. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
- Douglas, Edward (2015-08-21). "Comingsoon.net". Comingsoon.net. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
- "Vimeo". Vimeo. 2012-01-09. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
- Joe Swanberg on IMDb
- Official site
- GreenCine: "More excited than I have ever been": Interview with Joe Swanberg
- indieWIRE INTERVIEW: Joe Swanberg, director of "LOL"
- Filmmaker Magazine: What I Meant to Say
- Crothers, Reece (August 26, 2010). "The Movie That Killed Mumblecore". DailyFilmDose.com. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
- Joe Swanberg, Hell Is For Hyphenates, August 31, 2014