TrustMovies asks the above question because Joe Swanberg's latest is such a major step up from his earlier work that one can only wonder where he'll go from here. I never bought into the Mumblecore moniker anyway: it was rarely the dialog or sound in these movies that annoyed -- more the fractured, hand-held camerawork that had me flummoxed. I'd have called the genre Wobblyview. But not this time.
ALEXANDER THE LAST offers, by earlier Swanberg stardards (though not by those of, say, Aaron Katz's Quiet City), near-pristine visuals; a story and characters that matter (mostly because these people seem to care more about themselves and others: maybe they're all -- including Swanberg -- growing up); a psychological astuteness that is surprising, to say the least; and a theme -- love and lust in art and life -- very much worth tackling. That Swanberg has cast more professional actors in many of the roles also seems to have made a big difference to his end result. Is this perhaps due to his recent connection with Noah Baumbach, who helped produce the film? Whatever:
All this is not to say that Swanberg has made a work of art. But since few films are, we can settle for an interesting (and short!) 72 minutes, during which he seems to have learned on-the-job, as do so many young writer/directors. When, as here, the movement is upwards, we go home from the theater happy.
|Or remain home, if we've happened to watch the movie On-Demand, which is how much of the audience for Alexander the Last will be doing it. The film had its world premiere yesterday at the SXSW fest and simultaneously on the IFC Festival Direct, where it will be available nationwide on-demand for 90 days from most major cable systems. The film can be ordered in the IFC Films menu within each cable company's on-demand platforms (some will also offer a special SXSW-branded tab).|
Try any of these below:
Bright House (Movies On Demand/IFC In Theaters)
CableVision (Movies On Demand/IFC In Theaters) or Ch. 508
Charter (Ch. 1 /Movies On Demand/IFC In Theaters)
Comcast (Ch. 1 /Movies On Demand/IFC In Theaters)
Cox (Ch. 1 /Movies On Demand/IFC In Theaters)
Insight (Ch. 1 /Movies On Demand/IFC In Theaters)
Time Warner (Movies On Demand/IFC In Theaters).