Monday, December 5, 2011

Under 250: Bellflower

Though I watched most of these movies awhile ago, we're coming up on the end of the year, which means a lot of reflection.  There's some ground we haven't covered.  So, to the best of my abilities, I'll try to recall my exact feelings on some recent 'oldies'. 
In the early fall I went from having completely overlooked the Bellflower buzz to being pelted with its conflicted praise on every pseudo-hipster internet outlet in existence.   As someone commonly slammed with the hipster-insult label I must say that this film is egregiously, unbearably defined by its post-ironic, oddly sincere, mumblecore hipsterdom for better and for worse.   I’m impressed by it, even as I want to quietly rip it to shreds.  Writer/director/star Evan Glodell took a DIY approach to filmmaking here, building the Mad Max vehicles and flamethrowers by hand and constructing his recession-era post-apocalyptic landscape with the greatest of care.  There’s an auteur sensibility to Glodell’s work that’s very promising.  Bellflower doesn’t feel quite like any other film I’ve encountered.   That said, the most I can say for the film is that it’s “interesting.”   Bellflower is a relationship drama built off of male rage and slacker entitlement.  Its actors are cookie cutter 20-somethings culled from the streets of Williamsburg and Austin who all look the same, who pull shallow pop culture references from deep emotions, and who view the world as something which revolves around them.  When the film veers towards sudden, strong violence it feels appropriately unnecessary.   That’s the point.  The problem for me was that the pitch of the characters reflected my sentiment on the film: overblown nonsense prettily filmed, but vacuously obnoxious.

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