March 25, 2009

Two Coats' movie pick: Adventureland

Director Greg Mottola (Daytrippers and Superbad) has been called the new John Hughes (Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Pretty in Pink, etc.), but Mottola's films are much grittier, infused with a singular indie-angsty sophistication. In New York, David Edelstein writes that Mottola "plays old songs in new keys and strikes dissonant, unsettling notes." The film tells the story of a recent college grad who is forced to take a job as a lowly local theme park attendant during the summer of '87 after his parents refuse to finance a post-grad trip to Europe. Mottola, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon's School of Art (notable grads: Andy Warhol, Jonathan Borofsky, John Currin), was originally a painter, so Two Coats roots for his continued success. A gifted artist, Mottola opted to submit a graphic novel instead of a script when he applied to film school at Columbia. After graduating with an MFA in the early nineties, Mottola wrote and directed The Daytrippers (1997) which was shown at the Cannes Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. His most recent film was Superbad, which, artists will recall, featured an unforgetable montage of adolescent dick drawings and doodles. Besides directing episodes of Undeclared, Mottola directed several installments of HBO's The Comeback, Lisa Kudrow's hilarious but inexplicably short-lived satire of celebrity reality shows.

Check out Mottola's playlist at iTunes (he always made great mix tapes back in the day). Hear him discuss his favorite coming-of-age movies in the Washington Post. Read an interview in Village Voice. And here's a Profile in the LA Times.

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