The two-disc Criterion set is generous with extras that enhance appreciation of the feature and the director. A half-hour conversation with Dunham and author/director Nora Ephron is a fascinating look at what different generations of women have gone through as artists. Dunham also gives props to cinematographer Jody Lee Lipes, who gives the film a stylish look that one is not used to seeing from the Mumblecore School that inspired it. Lipes’s work as a director can be seen on two excellent and very different documentaries, NY Export: Opus Jazz and Good Times Will Never Be the Same.
A bonus disc covers Dunham’s film work before Tiny Furniture, including her first feature Creative Nonfiction as well as short films, all of which were made while she was at Oberlin College. Dunham has brought her family into her film work since her college years, and Simmons and painter Carroll Dunham feature prominently in one hilarious short. For the entire five-minute length of “Open the Door,” the camera is trained on Dunham’s apartment door. Dunham stands guard watching her parents arrive through a video screen, and she asks each of them in turn to recite lines for a film, the plot of which implicates her father as a drug dealer and her mother as a hapless enabler. It’s the kind of uncomfortably funny sort-of-reality and sort-of-performance art that’s typical of Dunham’s work. Tiny Furniture, like all of Dunahm's films, can make you feel uneasy, and it can make you laugh, sometimes at once.