Some directors, like Paul Thomas Anderson or Terrence Malick, are notorious for taking extended periods of time in between films. Others like Woody Allen or Pedro Almodóvar produce a picture every year or two. And then there’s someone like Joe Swanberg who releases several films within a single year. Drinking Buddies is currently listed on IMDB as the man’s second of three pictures to be released this year; he has another film currently in post-production for release in 2014.
Perhaps it’s unfair to harp on someone who obviously has a passion and the means to produce many films. It’s not as if his contributions are nil given that he has directed vehicles highlighting previously unknown actors, most notably Greta Gerwig and Mark Duplass. And with Drinking Buddies, Swanberg assembles a quartet of actors capable of realizing his thin material. But the overarching feeling here is that Swanberg has effectively played the numbers, releasing film after film before finally getting something that works. The big question is whether or not this effort was realized through Swanberg’s own faculties as a director of skill or if in fact it was led by the hands of his capable cast.Read More