Art Direction, Motion Design & Illustration by Patrick Hosmer

The Four Elements of Mumblecore

Added on by Patrick Hosmer.

Can you tell me about Mumblecore (aka Bedhead Cinema aka Neo Realism aka Slackavettes aka Shut Up, Mom)? If you're going to say it's DV movies about meandering 20-somethings whining about love and being bored, you'd be right. If you're going to say it's about being lost in a modern world or how love is fleeting you'd also be right. So what is it? Oh shit, get ready cuz this is the Four Elements of Mumblecore, bitch.

Element 1: Real Shit Mixed with Hand-Drawn Shit

Posters, movie intros and websites all need this cutsie stuff to show that, yeah they're real. But also they're DIY. Got graph paper? Throw it in there. Is your name Jemaine? Mumble on, brother. 

Element 2: Retarded Child-Like Behavior 

When grown-ups act like babies, it means they're actually real smart and they don't give a shit because everyone is lonely in this world. Its not autism. It's called being irreverent, and you can thank Lloyd Dobbler for that because really, he was holding that boombox up to America's bedroom window. 

Element 3: No Moneys

Yo, this movie was made for so little dough it's basically not even real. It's more like an idea that accidentally got taped. Non-existent budgets are the new Muslim scarf things. Check the receipts, fool. 

Element 4: Two Chinese Guys Pointing Guns at Each Other

Every Mumblecore has this. It's the modern Yin Yang and the director is saying that everyone is equal but also, life is lose-lose. It's usually a Triad guy and a cop. 

And that's Mumblecore, Dumbledore.

Addendum: OK, so actually Juno and Squid & The Whale aint Mumble because they're not low budget enough and not shot on mini DV, plus Juno and the Squiddies are sub-20's, and therefore aren't existential enough or something. Real Mumble is brooding and aimless. Get it right, Hollywood. 

But I'm gonna go ahead and say the new Miami Vice is Mumblecore because it's shot on video, deals with love and loss and it's jam-packed with those totally emo scenes where no one says anything and then it cuts to a shot of an airport for 10 minutes. 

Check out these these textbook Mumblecore specimens and try not to be bowled over by the earnestness:

Take that, recession. Real Talk.