Ry Russo-Young and Greta Gerwig in “Hannah Takes the Stairs,” directed by Joe Swanberg

From Sunday’s New York Times, writer Dennis Lim wrote about the emergence of the mumblecore aesthetic in indie film, and call is the “sole significant American indie film wave of the last 20 years to have emerged outside of the ecosystem of the Sundance Film Festival.”

According the article, there are 10-20 films in this genre, depending on how you count them.  So what is mumblecore?  Elements of it include

A low-key naturalism, low-fi production values and a stream of low-volume chatter often perceived as ineloquence.

The films deal with

the mundane vacillations of postcollegiate existence . . .[and] seldom deal with matters more pressing than whether to return a phone call.

It may sound boring to some, but when it come to having another take on 20-somethings, marketers should take note that herein lies “a true 21st-century sensibility, reflective of MySpace-like social networks and the voyeurism and intimacy of YouTube.”

Most interesting to me is that the Times has dived into this niche and devoted significant real estate to its coverage.  I’m not here to pass judgment on the cultural importance of mumblecore.  However, I take it as an indicator that the Times recognizes that 20-somethings are an important group to understand, particularly for—and this is an assumption on my part–the older-skewing audience that reads paper.

Lest you think that the Times is really cutting edge, note that they followed the lead of Filmmaker Magazine.

The full Times article can be found here.

Posted by Rob Fields