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Given how many of his films have premiered here, and what a crucial role he's playing in low-budget independent cinema right now, Mark Duplass may be more of a human personification of Sundance than Harvey Weinstein. The director and actor is at the center of loosely associated artists whose work is known as mumblecore-- films like The Puffy Chair (which Duplass directed with his brother Jay) and Humpday (in which Duplass starred), about real people doing realistic things and being slightly more articulate than we are about it.

But this year Duplass is here hitting the big time, or at least the big time in Sundance terms. Armed with a distribution deal already in place with Fox Searchlight, the Duplass Brothers are presenting Cyrus, a low-fi comedy about a love triangle between a man (John C. Reilly), a woman (Marisa Tomei) and the woman's 23-year-old son who won't move out of the house (Jonah Hill). The movie is hilarious and poignant and one of the hits of the festival-- read my review here-- and Duplass is finding himself kind of an elder statesman among dozens of filmmakers inspired by his work.

I talked to Duplass earlier this week-- Jay was off doing press elsewhere-- about Cyrus and the process of making an improvised mumblecore movie with actual, real-life movie stars. It's a brief interview that I think helps explain why Cyrus is actually excellent and not the derivative disaster it easily could have turned into. The movie comes out later this year, but get a taste of what's to come by watching the interview below.

For more of our Sundance 2010 coverage, click here.

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