"Take it off the tripod," says a reasonable facsimile of Brad Pitt to a reasonable facsimile of Edward Norton in last year's execrable Fight Club. "How much do you know about yourself, you've never gone hand-held?"
If these lines make you smirk, you're probably a struggling independent filmmaker, or wish you were. This is the target audience at which Film Club, a short work directed by longtime Valley shoestringer Chris LaMont, is principally aimed.
Produced by LaMont partner -- and former New Times intern -- Golan Ramras and Steven Brink, Film Club takes the form of a mock trailer for itself. The five-minute sketch amusingly sends up last year's exercise in middle-class white-boy whining and preening from David Fincher. Our hero Tyler, for instance -- the equivalent of the Brad Pitt character -- asserts that "The first rule of Film Club is you don't talk about Film Club. The second rule of Film Club is . . .
"You don't talk about Film Club?" an overeager fellow in the crowd suggests.
"Were you listening?" asks Tyler, and another guy in the crowd says, "That's rule number one, dude."
But the principal target of this witty little film is less Fight Club itself than young indie filmmaker culture. There are references to FotoKem and to Kevin Smith's creation Silent Bob, to the Talmudic rules of the Dogme 95 school and to that great anti-indie Titanic. The narrator -- the equivalent of the Edward Norton character in Fight Club-- even compulsively orders fancy new Steadicams over the phone, instead of Ikea furniture. It's a world that LaMont, who's been making independent direct-to-video movies here in the Valley on less-than-nonexistent budgets for more than five years now (your humble author has had the privilege of appearing in a couple of them), undoubtedly knows all too well.
The "Movies on Demand" section of mediatrip.com, the same site on which resides the similarly in-jokey George Lucas in Love, is where Film Club may be found. If you have any connection to the indie world, it's worth five minutes of your life. And if nothing else, it's a hell of a lot more trenchant and funny and even meaningful than any five minutes of Fight Club.