• Before her critically acclaimed new HBO series Girls (premiering this weekend), before her breakthrough feature Tiny Furniture, writer-director-actor Lena Dunham had already made a name for herself posting short films on YouTube. Check out one of them, 2006’s Pressure, here. It’s just four minutes long, but in this distinctly Dunham-esque, firmly female-centric bit of confessional comedy, it’s clear that, though she was only nineteen, she had already found her voice.

11 comments

  • By The Narrator Returns
    April 14, 2012
    10:22 AM

    I love the things you do Criterion, but I'm not a fan of you trying to shove Lena Dunham down our throats. Sure, the backlash against her is outrageous (while I'm not a fan of Tiny Furniture, it's no more of a black stain on the Collection than Border Radio and Armageddon) but I'm not sure why you're bothering to convince outraged fanboys that she's an important filmmaker. It seems kind of pointless when the people you're trying to convince have decided to shut out all other opinions saying something other than "TINY FURNITURE SUX."
    Reply
    • By Mason Wilson
      October 01, 2013
      08:19 PM

      Love her, hate her, you have to give her some sort of credit for breaking out as one of the first female writer/directors to break out in the new "Digital" age of cinema. I myself adore her (I'm a huge fan of Girls) but I can see why a lot of people find her whiny and annoying. The Criterion Collection chooses films with some sort of importance and breaking out as a female voice in a sea of men I think constitutes some sort of reason for her film to be in the collection.
  • By The Narrator Returns
    April 14, 2012
    10:29 AM

    Also, the compliments in the video description seem awfully backhanded. "Distinctly Dunham-esque" could be used as an insult by many people here and "firmly female-centric" sounds more like a bland description than a compliment. (Yup, there are females in this video.)
    Reply
    • By shim3
      April 17, 2012
      02:23 AM

      "Distinctly Dunham-esque"...a distinct style after one film? LOL. She must be the next great American filmmaker (insert eye roll here).
  • By Brooks L.
    April 14, 2012
    05:03 PM

    Criterion is in many ways in the same business as a magazine like Sight and Sound. In both cases, part of their job is advocacy for certain films and filmmakers, including some controversial cases. Criterion has decided to advocate for Lena Dunham as a promising new American filmmaker. It seems like the anti-Dunham crowd has decided to simply dismiss her because she's obviously not a great filmmaker YET. Criterion is supporting her now because they obviously feel that she has PROMISE, not because they think Tiny Furniture is a masterpiece. They're playing a game of cultural prophecy, which can be risky, but sometimes it pays off. On that note, the advance reviews of her HBO series are INCREDIBLY positive.
    Reply
  • By TheDirector
    April 14, 2012
    05:38 PM

    I'm just going to say, I'd hardly say Criterion is shoving Lena Dunham down our throats. They released her movie, and posted this article. Hardly SHOVING.
    Reply
  • By Rene M.
    April 16, 2012
    05:42 AM

    What the hell is this? I mean this kinda takes the criteria out of criterion ...
    Reply
  • By Greg
    April 17, 2012
    05:04 PM

    Who is this? Where is Yoshida, Glauber Rocha, Mrinal Sen, Rivette, Garrel, Mekas, Terayama, etc? You haven't ran out of important filmmakers from AROUND THE WORLD yet.
    Reply
  • By Chin_Camposano
    October 15, 2012
    11:16 AM

    'Girls' is a funny TV piece that borders the likes of Woody Allen and Whit Stillman. But I guess most New York based filmmakers are like that nowadays, especially women, like Greta Gerwig for instance and Lena Dunham. They are being dubbed as the female Woody Allen (as if there should always be a female counterpart in everything). It is evident in their ouvre and their approach to humor that they are influenced by him. It is strange how Criterion could released an independent film by Dunham, while they can't even consider putting out a single Woody Allen movie in their collection. She has the talent and the wit as a promising actor-writer-director. Matter of fact, I like her. But Criterion is overdoing it by promoting her consistently (even her HBO show), like they were shoving her down our throats. If they can put Lena Dunham in Criterion then, I would like to see Denys Arcand, Atom Egoyan, or maybe Xavier Dolan -- who has created three amazing films already.
    Reply
    • By Gord
      October 16, 2012
      05:17 AM

      It's not simply about "desire" to put out Allen or any other director Chin. It's not that they said "forget Allen let's do a Dunham" - there are legal/rights issues to consider too you know.