Funny Ha Ha

It isn't funny ha-ha, but it is strangely, meanderingly enjoyable. This 2005 feature by then 27-year-old Andrew Bujalski is a scripted drama, but, shot on 16mm with raw production values, it feels like documentary. A coterie of twentysomething college graduates spends the summer drinking, temping, and performing the awkward mating rituals endemic to people who lack the courage to express their feelings. The film's protagonist is Marnie (Kate Dollenmayer), a satisfyingly complex young woman with a crush on an unworthy boy (Christian Rudder). At her temp job, Marnie meets Mitchell (played by writer/director/editor Bujalski), a sweet but awkward guy who develops a crush on her, and they dance around what both of them know: that he wants her and she wants someone else. Somehow, Bujalski was able to get his non-actors to non-act; the film has a beautiful nonchalance, as though we had just happened upon the scene. Once in a while, it drags, but it's worth sinking into the film's haphazard rhythms and paying close attention to its characters' befuddled humanity. Note: Actor Myles Paige will introduce the Tuesday screening. (NR) MELISSA LEVINE

Tue., Aug. 7, 7 & 9 p.m.; Wed., Aug. 8, 9 p.m.; Thu., Aug. 9, 7 & 9 p.m., 2012

 
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