Bedroom Rock Stars

The title “I Am Not A Hipster,” though provocative, is deceptive. Many may be expecting a comedy wherein a caricatured protagonist spends the duration of the film futilely denying the label. Others, perhaps, might perceive a tale of the plight and prejudice faced by misunderstood, mustachioed indie-rock lovers.

“[The movie] isn’t really about that,” lead producer Ron Najor told the Guardian. “I feel like a lot of people kind of want to hate this movie. The story is really about an artist — or just a person — dealing with his life.”

Director and writer Destin Cretton, Najor himself and many others behind the film hail from San Diego and thus chose to set their semi-fictional film against the backdrop of San Diego’s art and music scene. The plot follows Brook (Dominic Bogart), a musician who, despite his burgeoning notoriety, is in agony following the death of his mother and a recent breakup. Meanwhile, Brook’s abrasive smugness is not enough to keep away his three cheery sisters (Tammy Minoff, Lauren Coleman, Kandis Erickson), his friend/manager Clarke (Alvaro Orlando) or his estranged father (Michael Harris).

“When you go into a movie, and you don’t know what the movie is, I kind of like that… you’re kind of expecting something else,” Najor said. “What I’m hoping people get out of it is kind of fulfilling.”

In the movie, Brook’s fictional band, the Canines, have achieved indie fame, but for Brook the success is no refuge from his anguish.

“Sometimes when things are tragic and to keep going in your life is kind of hard, one thing that the main character does is he uses music, and for him it’s just very difficult to figure out what that means and sort of what the next step is,” Najor said. “I think everyone has their obstacles and challenges, and that was our main character’s challenge.”

The themes of loss are made all the more striking by the film’s music — a hand-picked soundtrack from rising San Diego indie bands including The Donkeys, Cuckoo Chaos and Jamuel Saxon, available for listening on the film’s website (iamnotahipster.com). San Diego composer Joel P. Smith wrote the songs that Bogart performs in the film himself, and Najor attests that all the performances were recorded in one take in order to produce a “very real and raw sound.”

“The way that Joel structured it, the music tells a story that goes along with the movie,” Najor said. “When you watch the movie and then go back and listen to the music, it actually makes more sense.”

“Hipster” was swarmed by critical acclaim this year at the Sundance Film Festival and has been making festival rounds across the United States.

Having attended UCSD himself, Najor is very excited show the film at Price Center, and he welcomes all who liked the film to check out their Facebook or twitter (@notahipsterfilm). He also encourages visiting the website (iamnotahipster.com) where the Canines’ album is available.

“I Am Not a Hipster” will screen at Price Center Theater tonight, Nov. 8. Doors at 7:30 p.m. Free for students; $10 general admission.

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