Tiny Furniture

Lena Dunham’s Tiny Furniture is a comedy of youthful confusion that gets its kick not only for evoking a world of unromantic hookups, casual BJs and iPhone porn, but for satirizing New York’s bourgeois bohemia. Newly graduated from an artsy Midwestern college, Aura arrives at mother Siri’s immaculate white-on-white Tribeca loft. Mom, a photography artist (as opposed to a photographer), is engrossed in a shoot involving kid sister Nadine, and barely notices Aura’s reappearance — precipitating the movie’s first round of sibling bitchiness.

That the coolly self-possessed Siri is played by Dunham’s mother and the loft’s owner, noted photo artist Laurie Simmons (the movie’s title refers to her props); Nadine by her actual sister Grace Dunham; and Aura by the filmmaker herself, pushes Tiny Furniture even further into psychodrama. To the degree that it has a narrative, Tiny Furniture proceeds from one Aura-humiliation to the next.

The movie’s title may refer to Mom’s immaculate dollhouse world, but the world itself is Aura’s. There’s a built-in wink: As convincingly hapless as Aura appears, Dunham never lets you forget that she “grew up” to direct this film. 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org/films. $6 to $7.
Jan. 7-9, 2011

 
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