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Film Studies 101
Feature
How To Make The Indiest Indie Movie Ever
Cute extrovert girl, meet gawky introvert boy...

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How To Make The Indiest Indie Movie Ever | 4. Select An Alt.Rock Soundtrack
4. Select An Alt.Rock Soundtrack

Key characteristic: Acoustic guitarfulness

Optional characteristics: Jangliness; soul; a decent amount of sing-along-ability; a lack of production; whistling; hand-clapping; French lyrics.

In the perfect mainstream indie movie, the gawky male lead is going to get together with the manic pixie dream girl. This requires a montage. This montage requires some inoffensive alt.rock to accompany it, and it must be catchy, guitar-based and almost too twee.

Juno’s ‘Anyone Else But You’ (as sung by stars Michael Cera and Ellen Page) practically defines this, but for other examples, look no further than any artists appearing on those O.C. compilation CDs from a few years back: The Shins (‘New Slang’, Garden State), Elliott Smith (‘Miss Misery’, Good Will Hunting), Leonard Cohen (‘Hallelujah’, too many films to mention), Spoon (‘The Way We Get By’, Stranger Than Fiction), Modest Mouse (‘Little Hotel’, Nick And Nora’s Infinite Playlist), Bright Eyes (‘We Are Nowhere And It’s Now’, Knocked Up) and The Eels (who scores almost all of Yes Man).

Then there's Death Cab For Cutie, whose delightful blend of sombre introspection and jangly hooks have seen their work ubiquitous in indie or wannabe indie movies (Easy A, Shop Girl, Mean Creek, Wedding Crashers) over the years.

Remember: these songs are the definitive sign that you’re watching a ‘Hollywood’ indie movie, so don't scimp on 'em. After all, true indie films – films made for the price of a packet of Hobnobs and a hug – could never afford the rights. Famously, the biggest expense on Kevin Smith’s Clerks was use of an Alice In Chains B-side (‘Got Me Wrong’) on the soundtrack.

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Have Your Say
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Your Comments

1 90s
Is it just me or is the "indie" flick playing the 90s infront of people who are too young to be nostalgic? i should mention at this point that i am quite partial to "indie" flicks. And I am too young to be nostalgic. Anyway, I'm going to go and play Pokemon on my Gameboy now, while listening to to Cypress Hill and watching Star Trek: Voyager. And then make a film about it. More

Posted by sipi on Wednesday October 17, 2012, 22:20

2 What?
Ellen Page is a must for leading Lady in an Indie flick More

Posted by CambiMan on Tuesday October 16, 2012, 17:21

3 RE: Great Gerwig?
Inde films suck so much 90% of the time. More

Posted by NeoBrowser on Monday October 15, 2012, 04:46

4 Great Gerwig?
Think you might have meant Greta... Unless it was an intentional mistake commentating on her quality in Greenberg. If so hats off. If not claim it was. More

Posted by ahaig on Friday October 12, 2012, 15:01

5 Tony The Teddy Soprano
All them movis are wank, everyone of them. They are all Junos. eXCPET Where The Wild Things Are. The most un-child friendly child movie i ever seen in my life. And the best movie from the past 10 years. Cataclysmically underlooked. More

Posted by burtbondy on Friday October 12, 2012, 10:47

6 E B
With Adjustment Bureau it's more that she's the pretty girl that takes the bored man out of his humdrum existence type thing... More

Posted by Ali Plumb on Friday October 12, 2012, 09:10

7 Todd VanDerWerff Strikes Again
I dont think even he knew Manic Pixie Dream Girl would enter the lexicon so solidly... Dang... I love his blog too. So yeah. Interesting list. More

Posted by kisswithatear on Friday October 12, 2012, 04:06

8 Adjustment Bureau - 'indie'?!
Hardly, I would argue. Unless you're just putting it there just for info on roles that Emily Blunt has played, in which case I apologise. More

Posted by polkadotty5 on Friday October 12, 2012, 01:40

9
Is this supposed to be part of your "Indy" week, you punning japesters...? More

Posted by JamieNC on Thursday October 11, 2012, 17:10


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