Last week, I went with my friends and sister to watch 'Tiny Furniture' at the closing gala to Bird's Eye View Film Festival. It was a good sign when we arrived at the NFT and found that our seats had goody bags with chocolate and a box of Dermalogica products and samples - money's worth right there!
The event started with the awards for the evening and I remember seeing a clip to 'The Silence beneath the Bark', a short animation that won the award for Best Short Animation which looked stunning, so please check it out.
Lastly, they screened 'Tiny Furniture', a film by Lena Dunham and all shot on a Canon 7D (woo!). It was a very enjoyable film, mostly because it was hilarious. The script was very witty and didn't feel too over done. I felt there was slight lag in the last third of the film and it didn't really conclude, just left one with that lingering feeling of hope/no-hope, a sort of limbo that hits most of us in our early 20s after we've graduated, so it was a gentle reminder of that stagnant and confusing time. In that way, it doesn't rise or fall in the ending, it just sort of plateaus, which would have been terrible if the content preceding it had been anything less that solid and good. Dunham doesn't need to worry about that though, as the film does carry well, even if it dilutes at the end. Having said that, in the final scene when Aura is with her mother, there is a slight tremor in which you perceive her character is turning on a point, but it's a fleeting ray of light and I love that kind of subtlety because it's a one second image but the feelings invoked around that stay with you. Those tiny snatches are what film is about and you get sneaks of it in this film that is working out how to be a film, as well as blurring the line between auto-biography and fiction (the film is based on Lena's own life and stars her own sister and mother, shot in her home).
At times, it does feel a little home video like but I think that's the point; it captures the mundane grey of those aimless days when you're still looking for purpose and drive and have come back to your family home but really you've outgrown it, which ties in nicely with the whole 'tiny furniture' Aura's mother photographs.
Lastly, I'm impressed that the film was conceived in October 2010, shot in November and then delivered by January 2011. It's inspiring and has me thinking that I need to just take my camera and shoot something too.
I look forward to more of Dunham's work.