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Home Fires: Lena Dunham’s “Tiny Furniture”

Home Fires: Lena Dunham's "Tiny Furniture"

Resist the urge to check out of Tiny Furniture after the first twenty minutes. The winner of Best Narrative Feature at this year’s SXSW Film Festival (natch), writer/director Lena Dunham’s second film begins with enough self-satisfied tics to make even the hardiest filmgoer break out in indie-smirk hives. As Teddy Blanks’s (admittedly catchy) score wafts by, we open with a cross-cut sequence between our heroine’s post-college journey home and credits that share the screen with little floating icons of the film’s titular household accoutrements, which glide across the frame with studied listlessness, presaging the film’s aesthetic. Aura (Dunham) finally arrives at the Tribeca studio still occupied by her distracted conceptual-artist mother, Siri (Laurie Simmons), and overachieving high school sister, Nadine (Grace Dunham). Her anxieties about life after undergrad, however, fall largely on deaf ears, with Siri assembling new pieces and Nadine juggling an extracurricular load ranging from track to poetry writing. Read Matt Connolly’s review of Tiny Furniture.

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