Friday, September 18, 2009

Where The Wild Hipsters Buy Things



I work with a lot of dudes in their mid-to-late-thirties, and it's weird how quickly we can shift from complete agreement with each other to sheer bafflement at our discordant opinions. We all really enjoyed Flash Gordon, yet they all think Jurassic Park is a terrible film. Really stupid stuff like that.

One day, Spike Jonzes' adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are came up. As you may already know, I'm pretty pumped about this film. I loved the book and think that Jonze has both integrity and talent. His fear of CG effects and use of enormous costume/puppet hybrids made me think he'd gain points in the eyes of my coworkers. Not so.

Essentially, it all comes down to that decade of difference. My formative years were the nineties, theirs were the eighties. I'm fully embracing the current independent music trend, while they see it as a bastardization of something more pure that they experienced. They might be right, but all of us were kids who couldn't connect with what MTV had to offer, so we looked elsewhere. We just did it in different years.

Simply put: I am the exact demographic for Where the Wild Things Are. Show me a lonely kid with an over-imaginative mind and you've piqued my interest, but throw some Arcade Fire over that and I'm suddenly melting in the palm of your hand. The thirty-somethings won't have the same reaction. They missed the boat, never to sail off through night and day and in and out of weeks, almost over a year to where the wild things are.

Urban Outfitters promoting an entire clothing line and bizarre costume shenanigans inspired by the film gives my coworkers ample ammunition against my generation and I. Maybe it's a little cringe-worthy to see such pandering to the enclave of indie/hipster youths, but it's also damn good marketing. Major motion pictures will always have merch, and this seems like an obvious pairing.

Another decade will pass, and when I'm thirty I might be having a very similar conversation with some young P.A.s. They'll probably be pumped about the impending film adaptation of Captain Underpants, with a completely electronic score and accompanying motion-graphic t-shirts that light up. I hope I'll possess the hindsight not to scoff.


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