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I Am Not a Hipster

By MATTHEW KORFHAGE
[ONE NIGHT ONLY] Destin Cretton’s debut feature should not have been made. Indeed, if he’d needed much money from anybody else to do it, it would not have been made. It couldn’t look worse on paper: The film’s name is execrable, and its subject is an absolutely humorless sad-sack San Diego singer-songwriter named Brook (Dominic Bogart) convinced that all art is worthless, including his own (except that everybody else’s is worth even less than his), but who is irresistible to a crowd of fawning indie girls he treats with casual uninterest while trying to inflict psychic pain on his ex-girlfriend. Amazing, then, that the film has moments of beauty. I Am Not a Hipster seems to develop self-awareness along with its subject, so that what is at first a third-rate Greenberg is peeled back to reveal a study in damage, grief and the childlike joy of creation. Bogart’s Brook becomes a slowly interesting creature even as he remains the seething, self-important asshole at the back of the party to whom no one should really want to talk. And no, he’s not a hipster. Just an oversensitive lout, ill-conceived into the world. He doesn’t halfway hold up Cretton’s implied mighty message of art as escape and healing in a broken world, but he doesn’t have to: Bogart (along with the three actresses who play his sisters) managed to slip the picture’s clichéd noose and make a half-cracked character worth spending a movie with.
 

Special Note

Clinton Street Theater. 7 pm Friday, Jan. 11
 
  • Running Time:
  • Release Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2013
  • Critic's Score: B
  • Watch the trailer
 

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