A lot has happened to Boston-born, Harvard-educated filmmaker Andrew Bujalski in the decade since he filmed his breakthrough debut, the acclaimed indie feature, Funny Ha Ha (2002). Currently living in Austin, he's putting the final touches on his fourth film, Computer Chess, which features Phoenix film critic Gerald Peary among its acting ensemble. Other than prepping Peary for his close-up, what else has he been up to since he was in Boston for the Coolidge Corner premiere of his last picture, Beeswax (2009)?
"I got married, bought a house, and had a kid," he tells me by phone. "So that accounts for most of what I've been doing for the last three years. But I often wonder what my life would be like now if I hadn't made that movie. Every time you make something, you're probably trying to close some chapter for yourself."
Is Funny Ha Ha an accurate representation of that earlier period of his life?
"It's fiction, but it represents reality as I knew it at that time. To look at it now, I can see just how eccentric it is, told in almost a private language," he says, referring to the speech style derisively labeled "mumblecore," which became the name of a DIY filmmaking movement.
Funny Ha Ha has been preserved by the Harvard Film Archive, who will host Bujalski for a Q&A when they present a new print on November 26 at 7pm.
"We went to the HFA and said, 'We know that you usually preserve things that are a hell of a lot older than this, but we wonder if you'd be interested in helping us out,' and they really came through. I could not be more appreciative."
FUNNY HA HA, TEN YEARS LATER | At the Harvard Film Archive November 26 at 7 pm