We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
Many, if not all, of the reviews for "Tiger Tail in Blue" will no doubt cite it as a an example of "mumblecore," the cinematic sub-genre that was briefly the rage among certain cinephiles a few years ago. It embraced minuscule production values and largely improvised storylines as part of a DIY aesthetic that was meant to return the increasingly bland and complacent world of American independent film back to its scruffy roots.
Although the format did at times inspire some impressive work — the best perhaps being "Tiny Furniture," the brilliant 2010 film from then-unknown Lena Dunham, made prior to her equally great HBO series "Girls" — most of the films that emerged were largely intolerable exercises in self-indulgence marked by annoying characters, narratives that failed to go anywhere or say anything and the increasingly intolerable presence of Greta Gerwig, who inexplicably became a mainstay of the genre until alighting for the greener pastures of the "Arthur" (2011) remake.
As a result, the invocation of the word "mumblecore" may wind up repelling more viewers than it attracts. That would be a shame because this Chicago-produced feature from writer-director Frank V. Ross is infinitely more interesting and watchable than most of its lo-fi brethren and fully deserving of the praise that it has already received in indie film circles.
The film co-stars Ross and Rebecca Spence as Christopher and Melody, a recently married couple struggling to keep their heads above water in uncertain economic times. Christopher fancies himself a writer and spends his days banging away at his first novel (though the excerpts we hear are not especially inspiring and, indeed, he seems to put more enthusiasm into preparing his lunch than into the creative process) while working nights at a local restaurant. The more responsible Melody spends her days working as a teacher and her nights grading papers, struggling to stay awake long enough to spend a little time with Christopher when he finally comes home.