An offhanded joke by a sound engineer at a film-festival party has forever tarred and feathered talky, lo-fi American movies with the bizarre moniker of “mumblecore,” and it’s a word that ought to be killed. Brandon Hutchinson’s 2010 “How I Killed Mumblecore” is set in a Chicago winter when its young protagonists develop house fever, leading to rifts in their relationship. If “mumblecore” existed, “How I Killed Mumblecore” could kill it. Along with the dreary, aimless dialogue, party scenes with zoomy-swoopy camera suit the prevalent, perceived clichés of the non-existent genre with an exercise’s exactitude. Neither actors nor characters appeal. For fans of local color and snapshots of chatter only. With Hutchinson, Cassandra Bissell, Gizelle Alverio. 67m. DigiBeta. (Ray Pride)
“How I Killed Mumblecore” plays April 30, May 1 and May 6 at Siskel.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.