In his films –which take place in Austin, Texas– Bob Byington lets his characters say awkward and often hurtful things, and there’s usually an overall sensation of being annoyed by people. Despite this, characters seek jobs, company and/or stable relationships. Once they get this, they start sabotaging them quietly and constantly, with emotional bombs thrown violently and dispassionately on the surface. Unsatisfied, deranged characters with constant neurosis: this is the ideal base for these sardonic comedies that can feature someone throwing cups to the floor, under the rain but with an umbrella (in RSO [Registered Sex Offender]), or someone sitting with a cat on his lap saying they prefer ten minutes of living like a feline than a whole year as the human he’s talking to (Byington himself in Harmony and Me). In Byington’s cinema, the explosions of fury have a controlled, limited energy: his characters, among them a series of slackers who jumped –or maybe walked– to mumblecore, are mostly seated, in bed, or leaned up against a wall. With these elements, an extraordinary precise timing, a duration of approximately 75 minutes for each film, and actors who completely understand the lay out, Byington’s cinema stands, quietly, as one of the essential links of contemporary American –Texan– comedy. JPF
Jason Schwartzman and his dog star in the story of a slacker who gets fired from his job and spends most of his time drunk, looking for a purpose in life.
One of the first stories from the mumblecore trend. It’s the story of Harmony, a thirty year-old musician trying to overcome a breakup.
This is the story of the unlikely rehabilitation of a sex offender who is released on parole and tries to reinsert himself into society.
A briefcase with a mysterious content provides Max with eternal youth, while the old characters around him stumble with perfectly combined coincidences out of animated vignettes created by Bob Sabiston.