July 9, 2009

PODCAST: Lynn Shelton, Mark Duplass, Joshua Leonard

HUMPDAY's Lynn Shelton, Mark Duplass & Joshua Leonard

If Seattle-based filmmaker Lynn Shelton had an actual career hump to get over, she has most certainly done so on the strength of her third feature, the hilariously perceptive Humpday. Since its premiere at this year's Sundance, the officially too-often-cited "mumblecore bromance" was picked up by Magnolia Pictures after a six-company bidding war, played a handful of renowned fests including SXSW and Cannes, and in the interim, had its buzz cranked a few more decibels when Shelton won the 2009 "Someone to Watch" Spirit Award for last year's My Effortless Brilliance. And that title's a fine turn of phrase for the success she's receiving from her deceptively simple new comedy:

It's been a decade since Ben (actor-filmmaker Mark Duplass) and Andrew (Joshua Leonard) were the bad boys of their college campus. Ben has settled down and found a job, wife, and home. Andrew took the alternate route as a vagabond artist, skipping the globe from Chiapas to Cambodia. When Andrew shows up unannounced on Ben's doorstep, they easily fall back into their old dynamic of macho one-upmanship.

Late into the night at a wild party, the two find themselves locked in a mutual dare: to enter an amateur porn contest together. But what kind of boundary-breaking, envelope pushing porn can two straight dudes make? After the booze and "big talk" run out, only one idea remains—they will have sex together...on camera. It's not gay; it's beyond gay. It's not porn; it's art. But how exactly will it work? And more importantly, who will tell Anna, Ben's wife?

In town together a couple weeks back for their New York premiere, Shelton, Duplass and Leonard sat down with me at the Magnolia offices—though Shelton wound up laughing herself literally under the conference room table, courtesy of her co-stars' irreverent banter. Before becoming a comedic free-for-all, the four of us discussed their open-ended collaboration, oneupsmanship, the kinds of friends you can talk "therapy shit" with, and the gayest thing they've ever done.

To listen to the podcast, click here.
[WARNING: Explicit Language / NSFW]

Humpday opens in New York and Seattle tomorrow, in Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas beginning July 24, with more dates to come. For showtimes and more info, visit the official website.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow night (July 10), I will be moderating a Q&A with Joshua Leonard following the 7:30pm screening at NYC's Angelika Film Center, as well as introducing the 10pm screening.]

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Posted by ahillis at July 9, 2009 12:15 PM


This is great! I love Mark Duplass. Did you know that he'll also be in a movie with Ben Stiller next year? Here's some info: http://www.flypmedia.com/issues/plus/14/#1/2

Posted by: SL at July 23, 2009 8:05 AM
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