Video: St. Vincent, Carrie Brownstein and Bill Benz talk about their Sundance Film Festival mockumentary 'Nowhere Inn'
PARK CITY, Utah - Watch Tulsa-born Grammy-winning musician St. Vincent (AKA Annie Clark), nine-time Emmy-nominated writer/producer and Sleater-Kinney guitarist/singer Carrie Brownstein and director Bill Benz talk about their mockumentary-style drama "Nowhere Inn."
As previously reported, the unusual meta project made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, which closed Sunday. The movie also is set to play the South by Southwest festival, slated for March 13-22 in Austin, Texas.
"Probably at the end of 2017, I basically begged Carrie to do a tour documentary with me. The initial idea was that it would be a partially straight-ahead tour doc, but there would also be these kind of comedic, weird interstitials that stitched the show footage together. And then the idea went way more involved and way more bonkers and thoughtful," St. Vincent told Variety in a Q&A at Sundance.
That seems like a fairly apt description, considering the synopsis from Sundance reads like this: "When St. Vincent sets out to make a documentary about her music, the goal is to both reveal and revel in the unadorned truth behind her on-stage persona. But when she hires a close friend to direct, notions of reality, identity, and authenticity grow increasingly distorted and bizarre."
"It started to feel like there was a disconnect, going from Annie’s St. Vincent persona and performances, something that was so heightened and embraced a certain amount of artifice, to these casual sketches. It would be a very jarring viewing experience," Brownstein said in the Variety Q&A.
"Also, I think it’s hard when you already have something like 'Spinal Tap'; you never want to do something that’s going to be compared to that. And we were uninterested in sort of commenting on other people’s music documentaries — that wasn’t really panning out. So we thought: Let’s make something that is multi-genre and a little more in this kind of ’70s thriller vein, like 'Privilege' or 'Performance,' where you’re adhering to a story but also taking the audience on a very unexpected ride in which they just have to buy into the weirdness of what you’re doing."
St. Vincent and Brownstein are frequent collaborators as actors, writers and musicians. St. Vincent made appearances on "Portlandia," Brownstein's acclaimed sketch series with Fred Armisen, while Brownstein and Armisen starred in Clark's music video for "Laughing with a Mouth of Blood."
Brownstein and St. Vincent made some surreal comedic short films to promote “Masseduction,” Clark's fantastic 2017 album. And St. Vincent “The Center Won’t Hold,” the latest album by Brownstein’s band, Sleater-Kinney.
Considering how much I've enjoyed - or at least been weirded out in a fun way - by their previous collaborations, I'm eager to check into the "Nowhere Inn" when it works its way to Clark's native state.