Funny Ha Ha

USA 2002. Dir: Andrew Bujalski. 89 min. DCP

“Of the American independent filmmakers who have emerged during the nought decade, Andrew Bujalski has the most decisive and distinctive voice.”
AMY TAUBIN, SIGHT & SOUND

NEW RESTORATION! The debut feature of 25-year-old Harvard alum Andrew Bujalski (Computer Chess, Support the Girls) spawned a short-lived and hotly contested new wave in American indie cinema in the mid-to-late-aughts. Coined Mumblecore after its naturalistic, stumbling style of dialogue, the micro-movement quickly gained traction for its no-budget ingenuity and naked observations on quarter-life ennui for the postcollegiate set. Funny Ha Ha, the movement’s earliest and arguably best entry, is a Rohmerian delight that charts the relationship woes of rudderless Boston college-grad Marnie (Kate Dollenmayer). She’s crushing on her newly single pal; her temp-job workmate (a charmingly neurotic Bujalski) is crushing on her. Bujalski, whose advisor at Harvard was Chantal Akerman, plumbs caverns of cringeworthy realism over the film’s modest runtime. Completed in 2002, it wouldn’t receive a proper release until after Mumblecore's christening at SXSW in 2005. “One of the most influential films of the ‘00s” (A.O. Scott, New York Times).

Funny Ha Ha screens in a double bill with Bujalski's stellar follow-up, Mutual Appreciation.


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REVIEWS

“A beautifully observant and wholly unpretentious film with roots more in Cassavetes than Sundance-style showbiz.”

Variety | full review

“It's smart, subtle, and excruciatingly honest. Despite its modest, meandering style, Funny Ha Ha knows exactly where it's going.”

The Guardian | full review

“By simply re-creating what he has observed, Bujalski has created a tender, funny, and stealthily affecting portrait of youthful powerlessness and frustration.”

Los Angeles Times | full review