Summer is a bit of a minefield at cinema. It’s the season when the studios feel the need to spend as much money as possible to tempt you out of the (alleged) sunshine and into the dark cool of the multiplex. As such there is often a glut of flashy blockbusters with little of worth underneath their lens flare and glamour. In response, I introduce you to our three-part guide to the Summer’s films; a tour of what you can watch without the need for 3D glasses or complete suspension of your disbelief. This is our (slightly behind schedule) Hipster Guide to Summer Cinema.
Normally the names Matt Damon and Michael Douglas are associated with more mainstream films but here they are at their very best in a film that was almost destined for the small screen only. In America, land of the free and the sexually repressed, this story of Liberace’s secret gay love affair was just too gay to ever make it to the cinema and aired on cable television instead. Subversive credibility aside this film is hilarious, touching, and not afraid to show you Damon in a thong. The perfect alternative to After Earth in which Will Smith drags his son kicking and screaming into the bland sci-fi genre.
Hipsters love their pop culture with a retro twist and what is more retro than Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Shakespeare, that’s who! In Much Ado the two collide as Buffy‘s creator brings his take on the bard complete with a cast of Whedon alumni, filmed at his own house, and in black and white. This film has hipster cred running all through it and allows you to be a fan of Joss Whedon without going too mainstream or dirtying your hands with anything superhero related.
On first seeing the trailer for this latest Superman reboot it looked like Zack Snyder might have made the first properly alternative superhero film. The trailer was filled with close-ups of grass, dilapidated buildings, and washing blowing on the line. It was grimy and it looked great; very Andrea Arnold. Sadly the reviews have revealed this to all be a ruse and what we actually have is an effects and set-piece-heavy juggernaut more reminiscent of 300 and Sucker Punch than Wuthering Heights. Why did I ever think it would be otherwise?
Before Sunrise and Before Sunset get a much-anticipated sequel. I almost wish they had called this instalment Before Sunstroke but then that might have been a case of putting a naming convention ahead of respecting your film. The Before trilogy must be the most hipster three-piece there is. Each film focusses on the same couple as they talk, talk, kiss, and talk. It is endlessly romantic, a film that puts character first, and pretty much contains everything you won’t find in World War Z.
Former indie darling Ellen Page teams up with up-and-coming indie darling Brit Marling for a film about a group of activists who attack major organisations. Down with The Man! Throw in an official Sundance selection badge and we’re in hipsters’ paradise.
The end of the world is an important topic in cinema nowadays and with the rise of the HeKniSciFi sub-genre there is room for greater variety in the Hollywood disaster movie. In This is the End a boat load of familiar faces struggle to survive an alien invasion while partying at James Franco’s house. Everyone, including our very own Emma Watson, plays a parody of themselves and most seem to end up being brutally killed in the ensuing chaos. It is meta-humour at its most juvenile but looks incredibly funny. The fact that this may well be another time when James Franco mixes up his art with his mainstream makes this the disaster movie for the hipster community now that Another Earth and Melancholia have had their day in the cataclysmic sun.