When it came time to make a movie, Annie Clark, better known by her stage nickname St. Vincent, knew what she didn’t want.
âI wanted to do some sort of concert film, more like a live documentary,â Clark recalled earlier this week. âBut then I started to think about the logic of a concert doc musician and realized that it would always be a musician who would sculpt the narrative, saying what the audience could and couldn’t see. And then pass it off as “truth”.
âAnd I was like, well, if we’re going to play with the truth anyway, let’s go ahead and write it down and pull out these big themes that we want to talk about in a way that’s actually more truthful.
Sometimes you need, she decided, to make the absolute truth by artifice.
âSo I asked Carrie (Brownstein of the rock trio Sleater-Kinney, a close friend) if she could help me write it. Then it became this meta-movie in a movie.
“The Nowhere Inn” has Clark playing versions of herself as Brownstein attempts to make a documentary. The band members and Dakota Johnson appear.
Definitely absurd, “The Nowhere Inn” is, said Clark, “an acidic art trip film about friendship, about artifice, about audience expectations, about the pitfalls of believing in your own hype.
“He’s just trying to ask and answer a few questions about what we want from artists.”
The most striking sequence is where Johnson suddenly appears in what looks like a 1950s fantasy boudoir with Clark. The two are in peekaboo black lingerie as they discuss their “romance”.
âI didn’t even know I was gay,â Johnson announces.
âDakota is a friend of mine and I just asked her if she would be willing to do it. I like to think that there’s also this meta thing when you really see Dakota for the first time, she’s in what could be from (the S&M movie) “50 Shades of Gray”.
âWe’re definitely referring to my romantic past, which has been covered in the press in an intense way,â Clark said of his relationship with Cara Delavigne and Kristen Stewart. âSo we’re definitely playing with that.
âWe all laugh – a laugh to ourselves. With just the cowardice for me to go from being a sweet person to someone who is so obsessed with the career that it could be, ‘I know. I’m going to make a sex tape! ‘âAnd she laughed. “It’s just like, oh my God.”