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Andrew Bujalski: The ‘godfather of mumblecore’ comes to Toronto

Filmmaker Andrew Bujalski on the set of his 2013 film Computer Chess.

Kino Lorber/Courtesy Everett Collection

Call him the (reluctant) godfather of mumblecore. Andrew Bujalski, the gifted Boston native whose debut feature, Funny Ha Ha (2002), is widely considered to be the first film in the chatty genre, is coming to Toronto Feb. 3 and 4 to reflect on its wide-ranging impact.

A wobbly romantic comedy of precisely observed postgraduate behaviours, Funny Ha Ha screens this week at the University of Toronto's Innis Town Hall, along with its equally appealing follow-up, Mutual Appreciation (2005).

Bujalski, 36, says he's looking forward to discussing his work with the audience. "It's a lot more fun to talk about movies I'm not actively promoting," explains the director, who recently spent a year on the festival circuit with his accomplished 1980s-time-warp curiosity, Computer Chess (2013).

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The event is hosted by The Seventh Art, the Toronto-based video magazine that's featured directors from Peter Bogdanovich to Xavier Dolan in its long-form taped interviews.

The team behind the mag began branching out out into live events in 2010, inviting such luminaries as Whit Stillman and Paul Schrader to town to talk about their craft. (The latter even premiered a clip from The Canyons in between dishy stories about Scorsese and De Niro.) Given his bright, thoughtful body of work, Bujalski's talk should be just as enlightening. Tickets at

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About the Author

Adam Nayman is a contributing editor for Cinema Scope and writes on film for Montage, Sight and Sound, Reverse Shot and Cineaste. He is a lecturer at Ryerson and the University of Toronto and his first book, a critical study of Paul Verhoeven's SHOWGIRLS, will be published in 2014 by ECW Press. More


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