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456 Ratings

Silver Bullets

Directed by Joe Swanberg
United States, 2011


Silver Bullets is loosely based on Chekhov’s The Seagull. After his girlfriend is given the leading role in a new film by a renowned horror film director, a jealous young filmmaker responds by casting her best friend in his own film.

Our take

American mumblecore director Joe Swanberg here takes a self-reflexive look at indie movie-making. Similar issues from The Zone are cleverly twisted during the making of a horror film, where jealousy is spawned between actors, directors, and lovers.

Silver Bullets Directed by Joe Swanberg
Swanberg’s idea of making audiences “happy” is by acknowledging what his supporters and detractors have been saying about him for a number of years, but presenting these things within the same game of elliptical story-unraveling and confession that’s governed most of his other films. The artistic impulses remain consistent, if anything considerably more assured…
October 26, 2011
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Swanberg wants to find ways to keep film interesting for both him and us with his own attempts at personal cinematic evolution, and in Silver Bullets he does this by showcasing more artful cinematic chops than we’ve seen from him, particularly in a post-credits build-up bathed in red and a mesmerizing climactic topless werewolf dance of seduction and anger…
March 15, 2011
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…Dan Sallitt has averred that Swanberg employs improvisation “not to find new ways to get good performances, but rather to use the fiction as a tool to document the performers’ states of being.” There’s an obvious danger to this method when the filmmaker is also documenting himself. One can get caught in a loop of the self, doing certain things in order to record them, then recording the process of recording and so on. That loop is the focus of Bullets…
July 09, 2013
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