The closest thing American cinema has had to a movement in recent years has been the self-deprecatingly titled genre, mumblecore, made up of lo-fi independent films that incestuously share cast, crew and concerns. Take the insecurity and self-obsession of Woody Allen's "Manhattan" mixed with the chatty characters from a Richard Linklater film, then throw in a lot of umms and you'll get the picture.

There have been dozens of mumblecore films made over the past decade, but none of them have opened in Japan. (Maybe because Japan already has more than enough home-grown Millennial indie flicks.)

This month Tokyo's Image Forum offers a rare opportunity to find out what the genre is all about with "Hannah Takes the Stairs," a collaborative 2007 film that features most of mumblecore's leading lights.

"Hannah" is opening on the strength of its main actress, Greta Gerwig, who has since appeared in "Frances Ha" and "To Rome With Love." Here she plays a fairly directionless 20-something hipster who's sleeping through a succession of boyfriends while not really clear what she wants from any of them. Stuff happens, some of it funny, some of it painful, and you'll feel as though you're sitting on a couch listening to your friends unload.

Director Joe Swanberg, who made the film for $50,000, had his entire cast and crew living in the same apartment during the shooting, and In a 2013 interview in The Guardian, Gerwig remembered the experience like this: "We'd get up in the morning, have breakfast together and say, 'What do you wanna shoot today?' It was about shooting hundreds of hours of footage, then putting the most embarrassing stuff in the film."