Open Five: Grown-up New Look, Same Old Mumblecordian Themes
Those familiar with the slapdash cinematography in Joe Swanbergs own movies might be surprised to discover the filmmakers restrained, occasionally shimmering lenswork in Kentucker Audleys Open Five. Theres still no shortage of awkwardly framed close-ups and lurching zooms, but most of the shots seem consciously composed, and somea nighttime overhead of a New York street, for exampleare far more than merely functional. Unfortunately, Audleys film isnt content to simply enlist Swanbergs technical services. Open Five treads the same thematic territory that the Hannah Takes the Stairs director helped make infamous: the lives and loves of the young and self-absorbed. Such is the setup here, as two Brooklyn girls head down to Memphis, one to spend time with her sort-of boyfriend, one to hook up with his filmmaker friend (Audley, playing a version of himself). While everyone here aspires to the creative class (and while one peripheral figure dissects the narcissistic allure of the artistic type, thus delivering the films vague meta-critique), that doesnt stop the central quartet from evincing only the occasional interest in anything outside of their own lives. Unfortunately, when such broader interests appear, its via a characters inchoate music critic musings or, more palatably, through a choice sampling of Southern-fried, gospel-soaked local color.
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