Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Death of Indie Rock

Rob Fitl | 2008 | 75 min | Canada

I will grant that putting together a movie about a struggling indie band from Belleville, Ontario trying to make a go of things in Montreal does not seem like an easy feat. I imagine it would be very difficult to avoid cliche while maintaining some sense of realism in portraying the difficulties of trying to make a living off music. Well, obviously it's very difficult, because The Death of Indie Rock is absolutely terrible. The trouble of carrying out this concept seems to have been compounded by the director and actors seeming to know next to nothing about A) indie music, B) live bands, or C) Montreal. In an attempt to solve this, Fitl loads down his movie with every hackneyed rock music, drug use, and friends-growing-apart scene imaginable.

The actors come from the Sheri Moon Zombie school of acting whereby any space in dialogue is the perfect opportunity to say 'fuck.' The footage on the streets of Montreal hits all the tourist hot spots, including the Mount, Foufounes Electriques, and that Gold Elvis street performer. Exciting material. And if you missed a shot of a horse drawn carriage, don't worry: that shot will appear again in ten more montages. The drug-vision sequences are cringe-worthy, as is the entire storyline involving the drummer's crazy big city downward spiral. Remember that ABC Afterschool Special 'Stoned'? The one with Scott Baio? It looks like Naked Lunch compared to this. Perhaps worst of all, for a movie ostensibly about indie rock there is not a single note of listenable music in this feature.

Not merely a poor movie; this is a laugh out loud failure. You can watch a short clip here and a short trailer here for a general idea of how the whole mess plays out. So, uh, thumbs down.

Bonus Feature: FRENCH ACCENTS!


shiftypete said...

I disagree completely. I saw this film at Kingston Canadian Film Festival and really enjoyed it. This reviewer obviously has no taste for the verite style and although the plot has been done, it is the simple in-betweens that make this film worth watching. The freestyle rapping, the pranks, the awkward crossword puzzle at breakfast. This is the kind of stuff that makes for a fresh and renewing film experience. I'm interested to see if there is more in store from Fitl. Oh, and I actually thought the music was great. Tin Bangs kicks ass.

aaron said...

i'm not an enemy of verite. my problem with the film is in its failure at showing anything that could be called realistic. everything you mentioned was so far from natural that i found it embarrassing. every aspect of this film is so forced it pained me.

Lena said...

your reviewing style is awesome aaron. it's nice to know you're not pandering to anyone in the industry . . . although you may regret it some day when you miss out on the amazing swag that comes along with having friends in canadian cinema.

aaron said...

thank you! i like to think i'll always be able to hold onto a few allies in canadian cinema, but if not i think i can live without the complimentary Death of Indie Rock pot leaf guitar picks.