Saturated with Hollywood actors, Digging for Fire is Swanberg's first truly Altmanesque ensemble piece, while also serving as an intelligent homage to the recently deceased filmmaker Paul Mazursky
(Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, An Unmarried Woman
). Despite the assembly line of accomplished actors walking in and out of frame, the film never once loses its low-key, improvisational rhythm. It seems like this cast motivated Swanberg to make his most cinematic film to date, placing significantly more focus on the visual construction and sound design. Digging for Fire -- Swanberg's third collaboration in a row with cinematographer Ben Richardson
-- is his first foray into shooting on 35mm film. The synthesized score by composer Dan Romer
sets a moody and discordant tone that often functions contradictory to the onscreen events, suggesting that we are only seeing what the characters will allow others to see, their real inner drama is being shielded from us.