Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Garden State

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Yikes! I haven’t been writing about films or music for ages. That’s not only sad because you aren’t presented with my uninformed righteousness on the topic but – much worse – because I have this idea of generating an archive of most of the films I saw this way, making a handy reference for myself and my bad memory. Right now I have a whole pile of films and albums which I consumed – or rather: enjoyed – and still want to make some notes of. Last year I worked around one of such backlogs by just combining many of those notes into a single post. While I still like the idea – I have to admit that it makes things much harder to find and thus isn’t ideal. On the other hand, when writing a single post for each film, I tend to want to write much more than a quick paragraph. I guess I’ll have to learn to restrain myself…

The latest film I saw was Zack Braff’s Garden State which I had heard and read positive remarks about but which only started in German cinemas this week. German weekly Die Zeit had a lovely short review about the film, mumbling about things like the ‘generation Adam Green’ which might be portrayed in the film, which definitely made me want to take a look. Sure, the Generation X times have been over for a while. But what generation do I live in?

According to the film it’s a generation of generally friendly and slightly numbed down people. We enjoy being fashionably retro but don’t really care too much of the old stuff. People don’t care too much about anything, including their families – but many do live with them. And generally there’s not much ambition or a master plan. Everybody’s happy if they’ve got enough drugs to get through the night.

So if this is a portrait of a generation, that generation doesn’t sound too much different from the preceding ones. But perhaps it’s just a story of a guy coming all the way from his supposed acting career in Los Angeles home to his mum’s funeral, meeting some old friends, stopping to take his anti-depressants (or whatever other psycho-medicine) and falling in love with a liar. Sounds a bit boring and isn’t all that exciting indeed. But it’s quite charmingly made and told, filling in many of the strange gaps that my description leaves in a nice way. Not the film of a generation, but a nice one to watch.

'Nice' shirt...

I liked the soundtrack as well. It took ages for the music credits to appear on screen at the end. Can’t they list the music right after the main actors? I mean who cares for the film’s layers and accountants anyway? Uh, and Natalie Portman, the girl playing Sam is the same one who was the little girl in Léon…

[Buy at amazon .com, .uk, .de]

May 28, 2005, 17:43

Tagged as film, garden state, natalie portman, zack braff.

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