Someone's been watching too many Miranda July movies. Made in Portland by Matt McCormick, this slow-moving tale of tangentially related slackers achieves a nice mood, but little drama. We meet glum Eli (singer James Mercer of the Shins) doing temp work and borrowing the car of his octogenarian grandfather-in-law, a likable codger who makes films about soap bubbles. Over there is Katrina (Carrie Brownstein of Sleater- Kinney), artsy and equally depressed, working at an animal shelter when she's not auditioning for MTV's The Real World. Then there's a thrift-store worker distressed to find the ashes of a dead child in a donated urn—but who cares about her, when the actress isn't in a band? McCormick frames their stories through "this depression" (as Eli calls it); no one has any money, and the camera tracks past boarded-up houses and empty parking lots. Some Days treats the hustlers of the new economy with contempt, preferring the soulful wallowing of its two protagonists. Art is a refuge for them, maybe, or is it a cop-out? (When motivated, Eli does a little karaoke.) McCormick and his cinematographer, Greg Schmitt, capture some suitably evocative images, like the lonely undersides of bridges along the Willamette. Pity nothing happens there.
Brownstein dreams of The Real World.
Runs at Northwest Film Forum, Fri., April 15–Thurs., April 21. Not rated. 93 minutes.