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Hannah Takes the Stairs

2.2 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Hannah, a recent college graduate, spends a brutally hot Chicago summer falling in and out of love. As she struggles to find personal and professional fulfullment through various relationships with friends and co-workers, she leaves destruction in her wake. Outstanding casts of rising indie film stars create an intimate look at friendship, ambition and th pursuit of happiness.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Kent Osborne, Andrew Bujalski, Greta Gerwig, Ry Russo-Young, Mark Duplass
  • Directors: Joe Swanberg
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Genius Products (TVN)
  • DVD Release Date: April 22, 2008
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B00125WAVY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,200 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hannah Takes the Stairs" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed quite a few of Swanberg's films. This is not one of them. These are a group of the dullest, most unappealing people I've ever seen on screen. Duplass was the only bright spot and his scenes were minimal. It does have a documentary feel, and is painfully true to life: Life at it's most uninteresting and most mundane. I have always loved the indie-style, which is usually character study with scarcity of plot, but these are characters I have zero interest in dissecting. If you're a Swanberg enthusiast, check it out I guess, but don't say I didn't warn you.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Greta Gerwig needs to either learn to act, write, and bathe, or she needs to get into some other business. Hannah Takes The Stairs is probably the worst of the mumblecore films, and I lay the blame largely on Greta. In everything she does, she looks .... sticky, she needs to see a dermatologist, she needs to stop using Mark Duplass's barber, and she needs to keep her clothes on. She's just not that nice to look at. In fact, if I were a guy her age, I wouldn't get near her.

I was born in L.A. almost seventy years ago and have worked in theatre here the entire time. I taught drama at a popular Santa Monica academy. I taught (traditional) scriptwriting on campus. I've sold over forty stageplays and about a dozen (real) indie scripts. And I would have had my name taken off any that were part of the latest "Hey bottomfeeders -- let's get together and pretend to make a film!" garbage that actually seems to have a (very small) audience.

I watch this junk so I can better advise clients about how to produce quality work, including what not to do. What do the rest of you people find in it?
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Format: DVD
**1/2

Joe Swanberg`s "Hannah Takes the Stairs" is a low-budget art-film done in a quasi-improvisational style. It centers around a group of self-absorbed twenty-somethings who spend most of their time sitting around discussing life and relationships as if such subjects had never been talked about before. The result is a sometimes insightful but more often tedious look into the mindset of today's younger generation.

Hannah (Greta Gerwig) is a neo-Bohemian playwright with poor instincts when it comes to men, who, upon dumping her ne'er-do-well musician boyfriend, immediately strikes up romances with two fellows at the obviously loosey-goosey TV production company where she works. The movie strives hard to be as extemporaneous as possible both in its performances and its direction, and while that does yield a few moments of truth and honesty along the way (the break-up scene is almost painfully convincing), too much of the movie is simply vapid and self-indulgent, with a trio of perfectly able-bodied young folk puling and mewling and whining about life to the point where we just don`t care to listen to them anymore.

With no real plot or storyline to speak of, watching "Hannah Takes the Stairs" is a bit like staring at someone else's random doodlings for an hour-and-a-half and finding no real reason why we should care about them. And, oh yes, unless I missed it, no actual staircase appears in the movie, with or without Hannah going up or down it. I guess it must be metaphorical.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Transitionally and historically speaking, the entire canon of independent filmmaking has derived from a basic desire to be `anti-Hollywood;' a reaction to the sameness associated with mainstream films. But this movement known as Mumblecore became its own cookie-cutter, like putting up a mirror in front of something and calling the reflection the original. These films are so ingrained within Hollywood ideology, I wouldn't be surprised if big budget films started moving into this aesthetic for stylistic intent. Indie films in the past were reflexive of the politics of the era in order to challenge (for lack of a better term) 'mainstream' ideals in regards to cinema; this new mode of digital filmmaking has made an absolute economy out of it.

Hannah is a basic plot; a bored girl has boring relationships, finds love, the end.
Stylistically, we're dealing with an absolute bare bones project: The film keeps `on location,` the location typically being two or three sparsely decorated houses; the mise-en-scene is kept quite minimal. The cameras are also completely framed with a handheld `home video' look, exemplifying both the digital video era we are currently living in, as well as evoking a type of YouTube-esque exhibitionism.
It's the content of Hannah that is so perplexingly frustrating; there is nothing that the text could be saying. The director is aiming for 'naturalized' acting, 'naturalized' situations, and 'ultimate realism.' But for what purpose? 'To document a generation.' Well, then do a documentary; don't create an absolutely facetious representation that is inherently speaking to absolutely nothing. What's the point of creating if there's no creativity?
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Format: DVD
To start off, I love independent film. I love low-budget films. After all, Clerks (Collector's Series) was a low budget film. But, that movie was entertaining and funny. This movie seemed to have no redeeming value.

Hannah is a twenty-something intern at a production company. She starts off with one boyfriend, and quickly gets rid of him, because she likes someone else that she is working with. He starts to get a little stale as well, so she replaces him with the other guy that they are working with.

I would find it more interesting if there was a script intact. I could deal with ad-libbing if it were amusing or enjoyable, (not to say that this was ad-libbed, but it seems as though it was) but most of the time, you had to listen carefully, because there was a lot of mumbling, and to be honest, the characters weren't that compelling. They also seemed as if they could learn some social skills as well.

And, of course, there is Hannah. She seems to be floating through life, not a care in the world, except for who she is going to sleep with next. She wasn't intelligent like the men at work claimed. She was so self absorbed, so annoying, and it was really hard to listen to her voice, quite honestly. I have read many books and seen movies where the characters are not good people or I don't empathize with them, but at least in those situations, the characters were intriguing! The conversations were so awkward, with so many pregnant pauses, and everyone interrupting each other. It was like not being able to look away from a car crash.

My boyfriend walked out of the room halfway through, but I decided to stick it out, just in case it got better. I hardly ever write really negative reviews like this, unless something is really terrible.
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