Written, directed and starring Lena Dunham, Tiny Furniture explores the depths of romantic humiliation and the heights of post-college confusion; the darkest parts of the big city’s bright lights and the newest ways to tell the oldest story in the book.
The film also stars Dunham’s real-life sister, Grace, and real-life mother, Laurie Simmons, the celebrated artist and photographer. Tiny Furniture was beautifully shot by Jody Lee Lipes (Afterschool, NY Export: Opus Jazz), the emerging cinematographer and filmmaker who was named by Filmmaker Magazine as one of their 25 new faces of 2009.
In Tiny Furniture, Lena Dunham plays Aura, just graduated from college and broken up with her boyfriend, who returns to the family apartment in Tribeca, where she lives with her mother, Siri, a famous photographer of tiny furniture, and her prettier and cooler sister, Nadine. (They are played by Dunham’s real-life photographer mother, Laurie Simmons, and real-life sister, Grace Dunham.) Aura wants to be a filmmaker—she posts exhibitionist videos on YouTube—but is more than a little adrift.
She spends the movie doing not much at all: bickering with her family, hanging out with her druggy-spoiled-abrasive BFF, Charlotte (scene-stealing Jemima Kirke), making sorta friends with an aspiring comic, Jed (Alex Karpovsky), and halfheartedly working as the hostess at a restaurant whose sous-chef Keith (David Call) she finds hot. Aura is, put simply, caught in young-person’s limbo. A child of privilege, she’s equal parts alienation and entitlement, ambition and confusion.
Tiny Furniture is an American independent comedy-drama written by, directed by, and starring Lena Dunham. It premiered at South by Southwest, where it won Best Narrative Feature, screened at such festivals as Maryland Film Festival, and was released theatrically in the United States on November 12, 2010. Dunham’s own mother, the artist Laurie Simmons, plays Aura’s mother, while her real sister, Grace, plays Aura’s on-screen sibling. The actors Jemima Kirke and Alex Karpovsky would also appear in Dunham’s television series Girls.
Directed by: Lena Dunham
Starring: Lena Dunham, Laurie Simmons, Grace Dunham, Jemima Kirke, Alex Karpovsky, Merritt Wever, Jody Lee Lipes
Screenplay by: Lena Dunham
Cinematography by: Jody Lee Lipes
Film Editing by: Lance Edmands
Set Decoration by: Chris Trujillo
Art Direction by: Jade Healy
Music by: Teddy Blanks
MPAA Rating: None.
Studio: IFC Films
Release Date: November 12, 2010
Related Link: Read the Full Production Notes for Tiny Furniture