The Nowhere Inn (2020, Bill Benz)

For Rotterdance this year I focused on movies that involve music, and this felt like a good opening night pick. Going for a surreal/absurd tone in the opening scene with Annie Clark in the back of a limo, then we’re treated to a big Kraftwerkian rock band performance of Fear the Future, very different from the solo version I saw.

But soon Carrie Brownstein’s “behind the scenes doc” takes over the plot, and it’s weird to watch because it’s two musicians I like whose actual personalities I don’t know, pretending to be in a fake documentary. Carrie makes Annie paranoid that she’s an uninteresting person offstage (“I can be St. Vincent all the time”), Annie summons her to the bedroom to shoot sex scenes with her “girlfriend Dakota” (Johnson of Suspiria), then starts being weird and unfriendly to Carrie, who decides to quit the tour until vaguely threatening family members convince her to stay on. “Let’s only document things I can control.” Dakota leaves Annie for being weird, Annie takes control of the movie and Carrie loses her mind. I think the movie is for bigger fans than me, daring us to care about who’s the REAL St. Vincent. Sharp photography anyway – Burr is a Portlandia director. Fake-doc enthusiast Bobcat Goldthwait worked on this, and it’s exciting to see Enon’s Toko Yasuda get a supporting part.