I’m not exactly sure what the big deal about American Apparel is or has been for the past however-many-years they’ve been selling midgrade textiles, backed by the sales gimmicks of organic cottons and risque cuts, to hives of hungry hungry hipsters. In their prime, having quickly fleeted seeing as how the company now faces bankruptcy in a vicious cycle of loans and debts, AA developed a reputation for being the cool corporation on the block, turning a blind eye to in-store theft in keeping with a “different from the others” sort of esteem. What baffles me even more than their astronomical cult following is that some trendhopper’s shallow memoirs about stealing from the manufacturer has been published and is now being adapted to film.
Occasional Vice Magazine contributer, Tao Lin, his brand of pseudo-journalism channeled through Brett Easton Ellis, wrote, in 2009, a self-satisfying novella entitled Shoplifting From American Apparel. The book is an account of his experiences pilfering clothing from the retail chain and flipping it on eBay for a profit. A spokesman for all the bored New York hipsters living off their inheritance, Tao’s intentionally understated tale plays to readers pretentious and self-deluding enough to “get it.” It’s total masturbatory fluff played off as intellectual existentialism, so in other words the great American hipster novel errr novella. The novel was even sold in Urban Outfitters for a time, in an ironic marketing move.
So why am I raging now on a book that came and went eons ago? Well cause it’s being turned into a movie and the trailer is terribly awesome! Now entering pre-production, the film (or at least it’s trailer) promises to be a thick-framed, flannel-wrapped descent into a pit of independent cinema called Mumblecore. This subgenre defined by such dry and tiresome productions like The Puffy Chair or Humpday, is both egotistical and farcical. Not only is Shoplifting from American Apparel evocative of mumblecore but also calls forth images of Charlotte Yi’s dried ejaculate of an indie flick, Paper Heart, in that it feels the need to weave in minor relationship conflicts.
The director, Pirooz Kalayeh, can throw around whatever labels he wants, a satire, a mockumentary, a faux blahblahblah, it’s all just an excuse to sell audiences on the idea of a group of fashion-conscious, affluent, self-aware individuals too radical for the world’s conventions. The team continues to seek potential investors, basically any artschool dropouts that became doctors or lawyers with enough money to dump into what proves to be a cutesy, quirky flop. Each backer receives a stupid talking tree toy because no smugly progressive project would be complete without aligning itself with the environmentalist and “go green” movement.
Special thanks to all the suckers that gave this guy enough money to profit from his first book Eeeee eee eeee, the sound a dolphin makes when you fuck it’s blowhole, enabling him to continue writing and eventually build enough self-esteem to pitch it as a movie, set to be released sometime in 2012. I’m banking on the world ending before this movie sees the light of day.
On second thought? Watching the trailer over and over, this may just be a “must see” trainwreck, so please someone, anyone get them to their goal, so we can all have a few chuckles over it.- Casper