Film Society 4: Garden State
Like you, I’m weary of the term “game changer,” but this 2004 film, written and directed by then Scrubs start Zach Braff, and co-starring Natalie Portman, Peter Saarsgard, Armando Riesco, Ian Holm, Jean Smart and a pre-fame Jim Parsons marked a real shift in cinema and the way it was marketed. Both the plot and the marketing are driven by a soundtrack that felt hand picked but became a blockbuster hit and directly lead to future chart toppers like the Juno sdtk. Released at the liftoff of social networking, it also helped make rock stars out of bands who only a few years earlier would have remained pet bands for smart kids.
Braff’s Andrew Largeman, a struggling LA actor with a guilty past and a belly full of meds that have numbed him beyond the capacity to love, is his generations Ben Braddock. There are several parallels to the first Film Society selection, Graduate (including Simon and Garfunkel on the soundtrack) and we will discuss them all among many other things including the real practical appeal of silent Velcro. Discussion points will be posted on Monday, June 1 at noon.
Here’s the trailer:
Here’s Sia’s “Numb”
Here’s The Shins’ video for “New Slang.” (It will change your life).
Here’s Stephen Holden’s original New York Times Review:
Here’s a picture of Natalie Portman, someone you will never really meet in a doctor’s office but still one of the great manic pixie dream girls in cinema history. Nobody that good looking handles dead hamsters but she is so good she neutralizes the clichéd role, doesn’t she? Or does she? We will discuss MONDAY at noon EST.