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Joe Swanberg Interview (Drinking Buddies)

Nights and Weekends

Joe Swanberg is a Chicago-based filmmaker who is commonly associated with the so-called ‘mumblecore’ mode of filmmaking – a term assigned to low-budget American films made in the 2000s that were singled out for their naturalism. For Swanberg, this is often achieved through improvisational performances, digital photography, and frank depictions of sex.

Following his 2005 debut, Kissing on the Mouth, Swanberg embarked on a string of at least one film a year until 2010, three of which featured Greta Gerwig (culminating in their co-directed Nights and Weekends).

Joe was in Toronto to present 2011’s Full Moon Trilogy – comprised of Art HistorySilver Bullets and The Zone – and instruct a masterclass titled, ‘DIY Art and Life’. The trilogy is included in the four films currently being released as part of Swanberg’s innovative subscription home video series, Joe Swanberg: Collected Films 2011, released by Factory 25.



This feature interview is from the fifth issue of The Seventh Art, which was released in June of 2012.

By Christopher Heron

Christopher Heron is one of the co-founders of The Seventh Art. He's conducted over 60 long-form interviews for the publication, and his written work includes numerous video essays, investigating formal traits in films and filmmakers. He received his MA in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto, where his work explored cinematic representations of urban space with special attention paid to the films of Pedro Costa and Tsai Ming-liang.