A driving force behind the work of Andrew Bujalski is his passion to transcend the vapidness found in so much of contemporary American independent filmmaking. Funny Ha Ha inaugurated “mumblecore” — one of the most important and influential movements in international cinema since the French New Wave — and Bujalski’s subsequent features have continued to accelerate cinema forward by using the intricacies of his dramatic frameworks to maneuver through various distinct social systems, and to understand the individuals’ functionality within these spaces. The director’s latest film, Support the Girls, acutely examines the interpersonal dynamics fostered amongst the staff and patrons of a Hooters-like Texas sports bar called Double Whammies.
Bujalski has begun to work with established actors, but he’s also continued to find roles for non-actors as well (a key element of his mumblecore beginnings), and for Support the Girls he casts New York City rapper Shayna McHayle (a.k.a. Junglepussy), whose role here is made to rival the emotive force of the film’s biggest star (Regina Hall). The eclectic ensemble of personalities and professional backgrounds that Bujalski draws upon is vital to an understanding of Support the Girls. Taking place primarily over the course of one particularly exasperating workday, the film mounts a hyper-specific articulation of the emotional compartmentalization necessitated by late capitalism.
Published as part of BAMcinemaFest 2018 | Dispatch 2.