Timorous self-absorption serves as text and template in this latest low-ordinance volley from the mumblecore crowd. An angsty romantic (sort of) comedy (kinda), Quiet City follows a pair of urban twentysomethings (Fisher and Lankenau, both of whom cowrote with director Katz) who meet cute then spend the next 24 hours talking around and beyond their mutual attraction. Aaron Katz’s follow-up to Dance Party USA nicely if uneventfully captures the precarious development of a connection between people prone to overanalyzed inaction.
Quiet City is also proof positive that life’s mundanities are even more tedious projected onto a movie screen. Still, it’d be a mistake to peg the film as a prettified point-and-shoot DV wank; wryly evoking the tentative, oblique longing of overeducated, romance-wary hipsters without resorting to histrionics or even a climactic snog is no small feat, after all. Besides, for all its lo-fi convention-thwarting, Quiet City is as meticulously hyperstylized as a Jet Li chop-’em-up. It helps that Katz has an eye for pertinent visuals: Painterly scene- and pace-setting landscape interludes highlight the film’s wistful between-the-seasons vision of Brooklyn. And the couple shares a sly offscreen exchange that conjures another pair of mixed-up kids—none other than Samson and Delilah.
Cast and crew