The Year SxSW Film Broke

Indisputably autobiographical (mom and sis are played by Laurie Simmons and Grace Dunham, the filmmaker's actual artist mom and gazelle-like sister, and shooting commenced in the actual family loft), Tiny Furniture earned the 23-year-old Dunham comparisons to Woody Allen. She's a gifted comedienne, eager to plum her insecurities over her imperfect physical appearance for both poignancy and laughs­ — I'm not sure I've seen a film that so accurately and unblinkingly depict what it's like to feel unattractive.

Dunham's willingness to put it all out there both physically and emotionally may be tied to the fact that she's gestated her talent online (somewhat more accomplished than the character she plays, Dunham has produced and starred in Web series for Nerve and Nylon). Tiny Furniture is the "oversharing" impulse of contemporary Internet culture, embodied in cinema. SxSW may be the festival of tomorrow, but Dunham has made a film that's resolutely of today.

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