In this article for Fandor, Jacob T. Swinney asks “What is mumblecore?” You may have seen a few mumblecore films, and maybe even pinpointed defining characteristics, but simply not known the term. (Or you do know the term, and hate it, and wish it would go away.)
Mumblecore refers to a low-budget style of filmmaking that relies heavily on naturalism and improvisation. These dialogue-heavy films often use nonprofessional actors, and usually focus on the personal relationships of characters in their twenties and thirties. Read the complete article on Fandor.
Mumblecore is a subgenre of independent film characterized by naturalistic acting and dialogue (often improvised), low-budget film production, an emphasis on dialogue over plot, and a focus on the personal relationships of people in their 20s and 30s. Filmmakers associated with the genre include Andrew Bujalski, Lynn Shelton, Mark Duplass, Jay Duplass, Aaron Katz, Joe Swanberg, and Ry Russo-Young; in many cases, though, these directors reject the term.
The genre is a mostly American phenomenon, but Indian and German films in the genre have also been produced. The term mumblegore has been used for films mixing the mumblecore and horror genres.
Naturalism – both in performance and dialogue – is a key feature of almost all mumblecore films. Early mumblecore films tended to feature non-professional actors, although later films have had more professional actors, including major stars such as Anna Kendrick (Drinking Buddies and Happy Christmas) and Orlando Bloom (Digging for Fire). Some mumblecore films feature a prominent use of improvisation,with the cast sharing script credits, though some, like Bujalski’s films, are mostly scripted. Read more about Mumblecore on Wikipedia.