Members of Sleater-Kinney and the Shins' Mercer Star in New Feature Film

BY Brock ThiessenPublished Nov 20, 2008

Following years worth of rock, Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein and Shins front-man James Mercer are to star in an upcoming feature-length film. Titled Some Days Are Better Than Others, the movie is directed by Portland filmmaker Matt McCormick, who roped in both indie rock stars, as well as several others, to play lead roles in his first feature production, tentatively due out in fall 2009, Pitchfork reports.

"Overall, I'd say that the film is about lonely people trying to create their own abstract forms of communication. You could call it a charmingly melancholy look at abandonment," McCormick told Pitchfork.

Brownstein is to play a character named Katrina, while Mercer will take on the role of a fellow named Eli. Brownstein’s Sleater-Kinney band-mate Corin Tucker is also to be in the film, as is Corina Repp, Matt Sheehy and YACHT, who perform in Some Days Are Better Than Others. On the soundtrack front, Matthew Cooper of Eluvium will contribute to the film’s score.

And while McCormick has previously worked with Brownstein and Mercer in music videos for Sleater-Kinney and the Shins, as well as in his 2008 shorts Light Tiger Eye, the director apparently still made the pair go through a grueling audition process.

"Both of them went through a drawn-out series of auditions before I was sure they were right for the parts," McCormick said. "With James, the character he plays is in many ways an extension of the character that I created for him in the the Shins' 'The Past and Pending' video I did awhile back. While writing the script, James sort of became this character by default. The character isn't necessarily based on James, it was just James's face that was in my head when writing this character. And then after I did the 'Australia' video I was just completely impressed with his poise and ability to take direction, and eventually decided to give him a shot at playing this role.

"With Carrie, I had had her in mind for a smaller supporting role that I knew she would just be perfect for, but for formalities' sake we brought her in to audition. While there we also had her read for the lead role of Katrina just to see what would happen, and she completely blew us away."

However, Brownstein told Pitchfork she’s in no way thinking of making films her day job. "That's a mere hobby," she explained. "I told Matt that I was probably a liability for his film, but he cast me anyway. ... That's not where my future lies. I'd rather do spontaneous and silly work like ThunderAnt [Brownstein's comedy duo with Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen] than have somebody's film on my shoulders. But it is challenging.”

Some Days Are Better Than Others is currently in post-production and is produced by Neil Kopp and David Cress, who were also behind Gus Van Sant's Paranoid Park and Old Joy starring Will Oldham.

The Shins "Past and Pending”

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