chapter  5
12 Pages

Movies for hipsters

ByMichael Z. Newman

Indie cinema and hipsters have long occupied the same milieu, and have been especially symbiotic in the early years of the 2000s. Juno (2007), (500) Days of Summer (2009), and the films of Wes Anderson represent and embody hipness and hipsterism, while discourses of indie cinema and hipster subculture alike frequently invoke indie films’ address to hipsters. To some extent, to be indie is to aspire to hipness, and to be a hipster is to invest one’s identity in the aesthetic legitimacy of indie. While it has always been true that alternative forms of film (in particular art and independent cinema) have appealed to vanguards, the indie era has seen especially close correspondence between some kinds of film and a specific, generational audience formation. By considering hipsterism in its recent and contemporary cultural construction in North America, we can better appreciate the terms on which indie films appeal to audiences, and the terms on which those audiences engage with and appreciate indie cinema.