Written and Directed by Patrick Brice
Earlier this month, Grantland published a piece about new-arriving filmmaker Patrick Brice and his interesting predicament: his first two features were coming out on the same day. His first film, Creep, is a mumblecore thriller starring Brice and Mark Duplass, which got released on June 19th in select theaters, but also on VOD (it will be on Netflix by mid-July). His other film is The Overnight, a ridiculous sex comedy with a formidable cast and a lot of buzz after its successful festival run earlier this year. I mention the Grantland piece because it paints the picture of a young director with cinematic ambitions who meets powerful independent film producer Mark Duplass and is told basically to make a Duplass brothers movie. Brice, a man who sites Wim Wenders' beautiful Wings of Desire as his inspiration for becoming a cinephile, was taught that he should make his films look as uninspiring as possible. The Duplass brothers have an entire pipeline of independent filmmakers that they give voice to, and that they allow these young men (and its almost exclusively men) to find their own voice is admirable, but The Overnight is another example of Duplass as producers conceiving a filmmaker who is basically a copy of Duplass as director. The Duplass model is stooped in the belief that independent film is supposed to look cheap and shabbily thrown together - as if Cinema Verite and DOGME didn't have visual purpose. The Overnight is another film in that model and another indie that succeeds at "looking shitty".