It’s the dream collaboration we never knew we needed: St. Vincent (Annie Clark), Carrie Brownstein, and Dakota Johnson are all starring in a movie together, and they are playing themselves. No, the movie isn’t a documentary, though it has elements of nonfiction, and the setting is a mind-bending metaverse where none of these iconic women are who they seem. Sound intriguing? Well, The Nowhere Inn is promising to be one of the strangest movies of the year, casting Brownstein, Clark, and Johnson in an eerie light.
The premise of the film is simple. Clark enlists Brownstein to direct a documentary about her life as a rock star and fashion icon that is intended to give audiences a behind-the-scenes look at her raucous shows. As Clark explains, it was supposed to include “concert footage, interviews...I wanted people to know who I really am.” Music documentaries have been a big hit these days, so that’s no surprise — but that documentary is never made. Instead, The Nowhere Inn tells the fictional story of how filming that documentary went terribly wrong.
Clark as a person transforms into her on-stage St. Vincent persona, muddling her alter ego with, as Brownstein describes, her “nerdy” real self. Sure, Clark has always had an enigmatic aura, but she becomes a parody of a rock star, demanding ultimate control over her portrayal; Brownstein becomes more confused as her subject and friend morphs into someone she doesn’t recognize. At one point, Clark demands that Brownstein film a scene where she and Johnson make out in lingerie, though making out is putting it lightly. By the time the movie is done, Clark has become an automaton and Brownstein is sobbing, so it’s safe to say thing things don’t exactly go as planned — which should provide for a fascinating watch.
The Nowhere Inn was written by Clark and Brownstein, and was directed by Portlandia alum Bill Benz. It be released on September 7, and you can catch it in theaters or online VOD. Check out the trailer below.