Team Picture, the deadpan twentysomething comedy that won the Hometowner Award for Best Local Feature at last year's Indie Memphis Film Festival, has recently been released on DVD via Benten Films, a New York-based, critic-run distribution label.
Filmmaker Kentucker Audley will celebrate the DVD release by screening the film at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art this week, followed by a Q&A session with the filmmaker.
Team Picture was the rare local film to have a national reputation before screening at Indie Memphis, having previously been part of a "new cinema" series at the Harvard Film Archive and IFC Center, while Audley already had been named one of Filmmaker magazine's "25 New Faces of Independent Film." Team Picture went on to screen at other festivals, including the Atlanta Film Festival and the Rome International Film Festival. The DVD release includes a new epilogue titled Ginger Sand, deleted scenes, and the Audley short film, and he just comes around and dances with you.
An understated comedy combined with a real feel for the agonized indecision of young adulthood, Team Picture focuses on a few days (or perhaps weeks) in the life of a young man named Dave (played by Audley under his given name, Andrew Nenninger), who is caught between his ostensibly normal work (as a reluctant sales clerk at a suburban sporting-goods store) and family life and his more bohemian home life.
At one point, Dave attends an open mic at his neighborhood coffee shop, introducing himself to a handful of uninterested patrons like this: "I want to play a song I wrote today. It's based on a decision I made, a life decision. It's called 'I'm Going To Quit My Job Tomorrow.' It's a true-life kind of thing." And there's also tenderness, as in his hapless courtship of a girl that inspires a side trip to shoot on location in Chicago.
Audley's emerging reputation outside of Memphis is a result, in large degree, of his being cited as part of a loose cohort of young filmmakers whose work has been dubbed "mumblecore." Audley has befriended many of the leading filmmakers of this movement, including Andrew Bujalski, whose Mutual Appreciation has become the genre's signature film.
"I hadn't seen any of those films before I made Bright Sunny South [an earlier, Indie Memphis-winning short film], but I would say that Mutual Appreciation was an influence on Team Picture," Audley told the Flyer last year. "I had the script written by the time I saw that, but it influenced me in terms of keeping it small and relying on natural situations — trusting that that would be enough, not heightening anything or making it more dramatic than it would be in real life."
Team Picture Screening and DVD Release
Thursday, September 11th
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, 7:30 p.m.
$5 for museum members, $7 for nonmembers