A.O. Scott thinks todays indie film makers predicted the recession!

A. O. Scott tries to Monday Morning Quarterback and create a new film movement for the current economic climate. The serious problem with his theory is that all of the films he talks about as being of the “Neo-neo realism” school were made while things were still hunky dory. Lehman Brothers was still humming and while gas may have been $4 a gallon in the US, everybody still had jobs and profits were still being made. He may be able to argue that they were somehow prescient of the coming crisis, but that would be stupid because, if that were the case, Kelly Reichardt would have become a millionare by shorting stocks and shit.

Also, check out this description of the first Neo-realist movement and tell me what it reminds you of in cinema today?

Their methods included the casting of nonprofessional actors, often portraying characters close to their real selves; the use of unadorned, specific locations and an absorption in the ordinary details of work, school and domesticity.

Odd that he does not mention the films of John Cassavettes, for instance A Woman Under the Influence or Faces. But today, this describes nothing more than the films of Andrew Bujalski, Joe Swanberg and those of the “mumblecore” genre. Yet he never mentions any of these in his essay, probably because he focuses more on the politics of the films than their style. Anyhow, it’s worth a read.

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