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Year: 2005
USA: Goodbye Cruel Releasing
UK: Diffusion Pictures / Miracle Communications
Cast: Justin Rice, Rachel Clift, Andrew Bujalski, Seung-Min Lee, Pamela Corkey, Kevin Micka, Ralph Tyler, Peter Pentz, Bill Morrison, Tamara Luzeckyj, Mary Varn, Kate Dollenmayer, Keith Gessen, Salvatore Botti
Director: Andrew Bujalski
Country: USA
USA: 109 mins
UK: 108 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language
USA Release Date: 8 September 2006 (Limited Release - Los Angeles)
USA Release Date: 1 September 2006 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 4 May 2007 (Limited Release)


Alan (Justin Rice), a musician whose band has just broken up, shows up in New York to pursue his burgeoning rock and roll career. He starts by searching for a drummer for a show he's already lined up, and otherwise goes about the mechanics of self-promotion. He finds a champion in Sara (Seung-Min Lee), a radio DJ who sets her sights on a submissive but uninterested Alan—and finds him a drummer. In his down time, Alan drinks and strategizes with his old friend Lawrence (Bujalski), a grad student, and Lawrence's girlfriend Ellie (Rachel Clift), a journalist. Alan endeavors to keep his shoulder to the wheel, while Ellie finds herself compelled by him. The attraction is mutual, but both parties are reluctant to take a next step.

Director's Bio

Andrew Bujalski's first feature film, FUNNY HA HA, was released theatrically by Goodbye Cruel Releasing. It finished a 20-city theatrical run grossing $80K and is available from Wellspring on DVD. The film made ten critics' Top 10 lists. At the 2004 Independent Spirit Awards, Bujalski won the "Someone to Watch" award. He types 89 wpm.

MUTUAL APPRECIATION continues in the same methodological vein that director Andrew Bujalski and much of the same crew developed on their previous film, FUNNY HA HA—characters and stories inspired and acted by Andrew's friends, minimal equipment and crew, an insightful script with room for "happy accidents"—but the filmmakers have stumbled upon possibly a darker, funnier tone with MUTUAL APPRECIATION.

Fun facts

Justin Rice (Alan) sings and plays guitar in the band Bishop Allen. The other lead singer of Bishop Allen, Christian Rudder, played one of the leads in FUNNY HA HA. Their debut album Charm School received four stars from Rolling Stone, in addition to praise from GQ, The Village Voice and many others, NPR's "Weekend Edition" ran a feature story on the group in 2003. Bishop Allen is in the process of self-releasing one four-song EP for every month in 2006. The songs Justin plays in MUTUAL APPRECIATION are his own and Bishop Allen's. Bill Morrison (Walter) makes his acting debut in MUTUAL APPRECIATION. He is an experimental filmmaker who has five films in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, including DECASIA.

Many of MUTUAL APPRECIATION's other cast members are filmmakers. MUTUAL APPRECIATION was filmed in 16mm and in black and white.

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