1. Chris Smith’s documentary ingeniously comments on what it takes to create a worthwhile product while showcasing a failed one.
2. Going along with 1, the film directly comments on the misguided alcoholic, bohemian vision of the American artist (which seems to primarily stem from Hemingway amongst a whole host of others).
2.1. The movie’s title seems to implicitly hint that its ideas stretch to fit the national scale. Thus Smith’s films comments on what it takes to make an American movie. What would be more stereotypically American than an independent filmmaker trying to make it big?
3. The film satirizes the famed bohemian artist. It presents a scary place in which your best years are over and without critical success and youthful zeal the prospect of ever leaving one’s hometown appears impossible.
3.1. Similar to when people realize that they cannot write poetry or prose or can’t make movies or music under certain conditions (ie while drinking, drugs, cigarette smoking, etc) simply because they aren’t those types of people. Finding one’s own creative process is of the utmost importance if you expect to meet your own creative goals.
4. A very thin tether of expected connection ties most everyone in the movie together. Whether it’s Mark’s parents who are separated or he and his ex-wife (or wife?) who are separated for the most part, but she still occasionally manages to appear. She also gets upset when our protagonist attempts to begin a relationship. All of Mark’s brothers are distant at best and most of his friends originate from high school where the only thing they had in common was drinking, drugs, etc.
Anyway the subjects are funny and Borchardt’s attempted greatness inspires now more than ever given how many people are creating stuff via Kickstarter or in their free time for Youtube. Check it out if you haven’t!
And I should also mention that this form of writing was taken from Biblioklept whose riffing articles always interest me and have always seemed like an idea worth stealing.
It’s alright but I cringe at “boom, boom, boom” and sure, it’s not a single track off Exile on Main Street but it’s still a nice surprise.
“Among the many acid pleasures of the work of Roberto Bolaño, who died at 50 in 2003, is his idea that culture, in particular literary culture, is a whore. In the face of political repression, upheaval and danger, writers continue to swoon over the written word, and this, for Bolaño, is the source both of nobility and of pitch-black humor. In his novel “The Savage Detectives,” two avid young Latino poets never lose faith in their rarefied art no matter the vicissitudes of life, age and politics. If they are sometimes ridiculous, they are always heroic. But what can it mean, he asks us and himself, in his dark, extraordinary, stinging novella “By Night in Chile,” that the intellectual elite can write poetry, paint and discuss the finer points of avant-garde theater as the junta tortures people in basements? The word has no national loyalty, no fundamental political bent; it’s a genie that can be summoned by any would-be master. Part of Bolaño’s genius is to ask, via ironies so sharp you can cut your hands on his pages, if we perhaps find a too-easy comfort in art, if we use it as anesthetic, excuse and hide-out in a world that is very busy doing very real things to very real human beings. Is it courageous to read Plato during a military coup or is it something else?”