Hipsters. Everyone knows or at least has seen one. They are extremely notorious, but they believe they belong to an underrated part of the modern culture. Some people praise them for their tastes in fashion, music, for their lifestyle or for their wit and creativity, but others just consider they are a bunch of youngsters that try to be aesthetic in a postmodernist world of consumption, violence and lack of originality.
As they have an interesting and powerful philosophy of life, there are some elements that truly define them. Besides skinny jeans, ‘70s inspired clothes, organic food and alternative music, movies also represent a form of expressing their ideology. They have their favorite directors that match their sensibility or manage to present in a visual way the struggles of the 21st century hipster.
This list shows not only these acclaimed artists, but also films that prove in an intelligent and profound manner that being like everybody else in this era is not the right answer and you should trust your own personality.
10. Garden State (2004)
Zach Braff’s directorial debut remains in the hearts of hipsters because of its funny, but honest way of presenting the life of a 26-year-old wallflower that returns to his hometown in New Jersey.
Andrew Largeman (also played by Braff) is a dreamy, passive person that wants to love with all his heart, that doesn’t want to waste his young life, but also is aware that he is lost in this big, bizarre world. Is a film about the struggles of the ones that are in their twenties.In the world of hipsters, Natalie Portman is also iconic in the role of Sam, Andrew’s love interest.
One interesting aspect of the movie is its soundtrack. Zach Braff made a personal selection of the tunes that reflected his feelings at the time he was writing the screenplay.
The result is a compilation of the finest indie music that also won in 2005 the Grammy Award for Best Soundtrack in a Motion Picture. The Shins, Coldplay, Nick Drake, Simon & Garfunkel, Iron & Wine are only a few bands that appear on it.
9. Frances Ha (2013)
Noah Baumbach’s New York shot in black and white has never looked so good since Woody Allen’s Manhattan, and this movie manages to add also a hint of Nouvelle Vague to the 21st century world of the city.
Loneliness, the problems of finding a good job, paying your rent and bills, and also trying to do what you love, are not only the struggles of 27-year-old Frances Halladay (played masterfully by Greta Gerwig), but also of everyone who is in the middle of their twenties, and ended the college life but is not really ready to enter in the world of responsibilities.
The film is iconic also for its lovely friendship between Frances and Sofie (Mickey Sumner). Firstly seen as a powerful and long lasting one, Sofie decides to move on, and Frances is left unmoored. Moreover, hipsters would love not only the naïve personality of Frances, but also her ambition to live out her dreams.
The soundtrack is warm and full of delight. It contains pop songs like “Modern Love” by David Bowie, “Blue Sway” by Paul McCartney and “Chrome Sitar” by T.Rex, and also many songs by Georges Delerue, Jean Constantin and Antoine Duhamel, originally written for the French New Wave movies.
8. 500 Days of Summer (2009)
Unfulfilled love, geek clothes, The Smiths, Joseph Gordon- Levitt and Zoey Deschanel.Maybe one of the best recipes for a hipster movie. This honest and sweet story of a failed romance charms the audience on, and on, and on.
The movie is presented in a totally original non linear narrative, based on the personal feelings of the main character, Tom Hansen (played by Gordon-Levitt), having the flavor of the Proustian memory. The permanent contrast between expectations and reality is only the result of Tom’s dreamy personality.
Summer Finn is like cropped from a 60s fashion magazine, and has a mysterious attitude through all the film, even though she is extremely sincere with Tom. He just can’t imagine the fact that she won’t remain with him. They seemed the perfect match, and even shared the same tastes in music (a famous scene is the one in the elevator in which Tom finds out she also likes the British indie band The Smiths).
Marc Webb succeeds to have a total hit, and gains a lot of fans that feel they understand the struggles of a love that can’t be fully won. The soundtrack is also fascinating, including songs by Hall & Oates, Simon & Garfunkel and some tunes sang by Zoey Deschanel.
7. Submarine (2010)
Maybe many things aren’t sure in this world, but there is definitely one fact in the world of hipsters and teenagers: Oliver Tate is the hero of indie movies. He has the looks of a young John Lennon, hopeless dreams and a lot of imagination.
Shot in Swansea, Wales, the movie is an ode to the weird but funny teenage years and the way we understand life then. It’s quirky, very original, and extremely aesthetic and has a great soundtrack provided by Alex Turner, the lead singer of the British rock band, Arctic Monkeys, who is also the other half of the band The Last Shadow Puppets.
Richard Ayoade really melts the hearts of the audience with this directorial debut. Oliver’s thoughts maybe cross the mind of every teenager who is an introvert, and Jordana’s attitude (Oliver’s love interest) could be of any girl that has a certain level of confidence, but it’s confused by the changes that are at this age.
Quotes like “She’s moderately unpopular, which makes a romance between us more likely” or “In many ways I prefer my own company. It gives me time to think” are only a few ways of emphasizing the profound but young universe that Oliver has inside. It is as deep as the ocean, and the movie is the submarine that dives in it and explores its wonders.
6. Amélie (2001)
Another cult movie for hipsters. The feelings, the vibes, the colors, the story, absolutely every detail is made for their universe, and not only. It is a delicious and warm movie that reflects how lovely and magic is life, even when you are a shy and dreamy person.
Amélie’s sensibility and tenderness is beautifully portrayed by Audrey Tautou, a true legendary role. “I like to look for things no one else catches”, “These are hard times for dreamers”, “Maybe she’s just different from the others” are some quotes that remained famous and are used to reflect how outsiders feel. In a dull, unsatisfying world, there are still people like Amélie, who are full of kindness, and live in a dazzling city that is like a mirror of their beautiful souls.
It is a world of fantasy that Jean-Pierre Jeunet creates, but introverts and people full of wit find themselves. Everyone has the right to love, and to find love, and mostly to be loved. And most of all, dreams really come true, if you believe in them.