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in Filmmaking
on Apr 18, 2009

Mark Olsen has a new L.A. Times column called “Indie Focus,” and this notice of its inauguration gives me an opportunity to plug yet again two of my favorite movies of last year: Frownland and The Pleasure of Being Robbed. The two films are double-billing in L.A., and Olsen devotes his debut column to the films and their filmmakers, Ronnie Bronstein and Josh Safdie, respectively. (The films play Thursday through Saturday at the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater.)

Olsen interviews both filmmakers separately and gets some choice quotes from each.

From Safdie, about his film’s “accidental” creation:

“At times, I wonder if I did the wrong thing,” he said. “It was a very personal movie for me, and very much an experiment. I mean, I’m happy that it exists, but every once in a while I get this feeling in my stomach. It’s just the idea of people looking at my accident.”

And Bronstein’s trademarked neo-autobiographical hermeneutics:

“The movie, on a heightened, abstract level, is autobiographical,” Bronstein said. “I was trying to make this kabuki monster portrayal of the insecurity and desperation and self-loathing I was experiencing ad nauseam in my 20s. Movies have taught us to love the superficially awkward, the lovable loser, and those movies use all sorts of insidious tricks to appeal to the loser in all of us. But in reality, the nature of desperation, of neediness, that’s a repulsive agent. I just wanted to go all the way with that. Hopefully by the end of the movie you find some grounds for compassion, a deeper perspective.”

I flat out love both these films. If you live in L.A. you have to see them. If you live elsewhere, there’s still time to book a flight.

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