Act naturally

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I interviewed writer-director-editor-supporting actor Andrew Bujalski last year, prior to Funny Ha Ha’s August 2005 opening at the Red Vic. He’d actually completed his debut film in 2002; during its meandering journey into theaters (with stops at over ten fests, including the San Francisco Independent Film Festival), he was able to shoot his follow-up, Mutual Appreciation.

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Justin Rice in Mutual Appreciation.

Though it’s shot in black and white, and features a boy-musician rather than a girl-office temp slouching towards adulthood, Mutual Appreciation (read Max Goldberg’s Guardian review here) resembles Funny Ha Ha in its deceptively low-fi storytelling. It’s also a leap forward for Bujalski, whose editing choices have grown more adventurous, while his characters are even more awkwardly real-life, if that’s even possible.

On the eve of Mutual Appreciation’s Bay Area premiere, I spoke with the Boston-based Bujalski again. This time I steered away from topics that had shaped our previous chat, including the inevitable, justifiable comparisons to other naturalistic filmmakers (in other words, not once was the name “Cassavetes” mentioned; if you’re curious, read my 2005 interview here).

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