August 11, 2010
Despite how popular the genre is, it’s actually pretty rare these days to see an “American Indie” flick that is actually indie. But Andrew Bujalski is one actor/writer/director/editor who is still championing and making independent cinema for audiences who are able to recall what it is that actually means. Bujalski’s latest feature, Beeswax (2009) is the type of film that is probably only going to appeal to its already present audience as it is essentially an exercise in the continuation of existent discursive practice rather than the pioneering of any kind of new generic content.
Attributed to the “mumblecore” movement (though I personally prefer the term “Slackavetes”), Beeswax is less the story of white middle-class twins meandering their way through modern life and relationships than it is a filmic contribution to the still prevalent existence of a Linklater-esque “Gen X”. Just because it’s not new doesn’t make it untrue. In this way, Beeswax offers a snapshot of the apathetic hangover that the 2000s have inherited. We may well have reached the 21st century, but that doesn’t mean that the sensibilities of young adults has necessarily changed along with the times.
Interesting in and of itself rather than for its “story” in the first instance, Beeswax is a highly enjoyable film about an awkward, intelligent, “real” set of individuals who are ruled and conflicted by their own ignominy. Simple and brilliant.