Tuesday, January 04, 2005

the indie talent gap

One of my new years resolutions is to go and see more films; I never get round to it and am often accused by Victoria of hating the cinema, and it's true that I do often resist a trip to the cinema when it's mooted without really figuring out why.

Looking back at 2004 I can name off the top of my head a whole host of really good films which I saw (Lost in Translation, About Schmidt, Eternal Sunshine, Dodgeball, Fahrenheit 911) and a load more which I didn't get round to seeing (Control Room, Capturing the Freedmans, Anchorman, I Heart Huckabees, Napoloeon Dynamite etc) for some stupid reason. Damn. I wish I'd gone out a bit more.

I also kind of wanted to see Garden State, but was vaguely aware that the reason for this was invalid; Lost in Translation got such good reviews that it was perfectly possible to go and see that film without letting on that Scarlett Johanson was the reason. Likewise Kate Winslet in Spotless Mind. Garden State has Natalie Portman in it but I could never think of a decent enough second reason to go. Perhaps I should have talked it up as the 'most indie film ever', with its soundtrack of The Shins and the Postal Service etc, which is what Nick does to great effect on his Auspicious Fish blog (found via Silent Words Speak Loudest), admitting

"as such it annoyed me intensely. I want to write about how much I Hate Indie"

Ah, I know what he means. What he calls the Indie Talent Gap, the kookiness, the emphasised vulnarability; indie as a 'coping mechanism with a flaw'... Great stuff. And 'the nasty little niggling aura of defensive condescension that cloaks and covers and permeates everything, the small-mindedness, the one-upmanship, the assumptions'.

Go read, he's on ace form.
Auspicious Fish: "the Indie Talent Gap"


Anonymous said...

'About Schmidt' was in 2003, by the way. Vic

jonathan said...

Ah, but I saw it in 2004. Didn't I? (feels smug and self-satisfied).

Anonymous said...

No. We saw it at the cinema in 2003. Sorry about your memory. Vic

jonathan said...

Oh, you're right. We did. I was getting it mixed up with 'One Hour Photo', which we did see on video this year, but which was probably made in 2002 or 3 too, rendering any last shards of my argument pointless. That was a good film too, though.

What's really frightening is that I just looked up when About Schmidt was released, and it was actually in January 2003, so nearly two years ago! God.

Ben said...

If you've just discovered Auspicious Fish, then it might be just in time - Nick's been pondering the idea of calling it a day of late. His writing about music is always thought-provoking, even if you don't necessarily agree with his arguments.

jonathan said...

Annoyingly, I did discover Auspicious Fish quite a while ago, probably through your blog, Ben. But like a lot of blogs, I then forgot to go back and keep up with it, so find myself doing so now just as he's thinking of winding up. I hope he doesn't - it's a good read.

Anonymous said...

you should have seen garden state, it's ace. great soundtrack too!